Decarbonisation in housing: the opportunities and challenges says Rose Bean, Director of Assets and Sustainability at Abri
Decarbonisation does indeed brings both opportunities and challenges - from 'tough finances' through to the 'fantastic source of new jobs and growth.’ Not only is this the case on a global scale, but it also rings true for the housing sector.
At Abri, we believe that everyone has the right to a high-quality, safe and warm home. But with UK homes producing 58.5 million tonnes of CO2 every year – more than all the country’s cars – decarbonisation needs to be a priority. This means investing in our homes to reduce their carbon footprint and making sure that the energy they use is sustainable.
We know this isn’t an easy task: we need to act quickly and innovatively and we need the right people with the right skills in place. It’ll be expensive, too. Research by Savills estimates that housing associations will require at least an additional £36bn of investment to decarbonise existing homes.
Whilst decarbonisation has its challenges, there are also some great opportunities for the sector. We’re working to make sure our homes have an energy performance rating of a C or higher by 2030. The new measures and technology we’re putting in our homes will make them more energy efficient, which can protect our customers against rising energy bills. It’ll also create opportunities for skilled employment, an improved built environment, and happier customers in our homes.
Want to join the conversation?
The Centre for Social Justice has launched a call for evidence on the opportunities and challenges associated with social housing decarbonisation. They want to hear from social housing providers, residents and community organisations on how decarbonisation can drive economic growth through new jobs and skills support, build a sustainable future for our communities, and enable social housing providers like Abri to hit key net zero targets.
Working together to achieve more
To face the challenges and opportunities alike, we know that we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re working together with partners across the sector to share knowledge and best practice. We’re a founding member of the Greener Futures Partnership, a unique collaboration between five housing providers:
- Home Group
- The Hyde Group
Together we represent 600,000 customers in 300,000 homes across the UK. The partnership allows us to tackle the challenges of decarbonisation with collective power: we’re collaborating to procure services; build sector-specific skills, and develop solutions that enable us to build more affordable and sustainable homes.