Over the last couple of months, we have seen a flurry of activity regarding the housing sector's plans for net zero. The most notable publications have been the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan for the Green Industrial Revolution and the Climate Change Committee's (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget. In both publications, the housing sector plays a central part.
Over two centuries ago, the UK led the world's first Industrial Revolution. Now, at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st Century, we are moving into a new era, the Green Industrial Revolution, in which the housing sector has a crucial role to play. It will provide an opportunity for job creation and growth in supply chains, whilst keeping tenant homes warm and reducing energy bills.
As we bounce back from the challenges presented by COVID-19, the ball must not be dropped in seeking to truly green our economic recovery. With fundamental changes to work patterns and social interactions, now more than ever, the role of our homes and how they fulfil our needs has been thrusted into focus. There is a real opportunity for the sector to transform how homes are designed, occupied, and maintained, tackling user demands related to COVID-19, fuel poverty and emissions reduction.
The CCC's recent recommended pathway to reduce carbon emissions in homes requires a 78% reduction between 1990 and 2035, effectively bringing forward the UK's previous 80% target by nearly 15 years. For housing providers to tackle this challenge, a three-pronged approach is required across new and existing stock:
- Behavioural change: to help drive down or alter patterns in the consumption of energy
- Energy efficiency measures: to save energy
- Reduced reliance on fossil fuels: increasing the use of low-carbon alternatives.
As ever, the devil is in the detail. How organisations choose to expand and implement this high-level strategy will determine the impact on their business plans. Such changes do not have to come at too great a cost. Green policies can go hand in hand with growth if providers can strike a balance between elimination, reduction, substitution, and compensation measures.
We are excited to support the housing sector on this journey, helping registered providers tackle the challenge step by step, structuring the transformation in a pragmatic and cost-effective way.
As a sector, we firmly believe that by flipping this challenge on its head, there is a plethora of opportunities to tap into. The potential for knowledge sharing and cross-collaboration within the sector, to drive efficiency and performance, is hugely exciting. In embracing the forthcoming Green Revolution, this is the housing sector's opportunity to re-brand, attract the brightest talent, and future proof for the long-term.
Click below to download the full report covering the current state of the sector, insights and guidance for housing providers making plans for net-zero with new and existing stock.