How can housing associations respond to the net zero challenge?

According to a 2019 report from the CCC, “the UK’s legally-binding climate change targets will not be met without the near-complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from UK buildings,” meaning housing providers must play their part if we’re to achieve our target.

But the UK’s ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 poses a serious challenge for housing associations. With limited resources, as well as significant financial pressures, any decarbonisation efforts must be cost effective, and social housing landlords must consider the impact on their customers when making any changes to housing stock. Our energy partner – Energy & Carbon Management explores how housing associations can respond to the net zero challenge.

Green procurement

Green energy procurement is a good starting point for any decarbonisation strategy. Ensuring compliance with public procurement rules, our Procurement for Housing Framework includes the option to bring in renewable elements. It’s worth noting that green procurement doesn’t have to mean cost increases – our extensive market analysis means we can advise on optimum timing to market, ensuring we can get the best possible price for your energy contracts.

On site generation

Providers of social housing can work towards net zero by embracing the opportunities for self-generation. We can explore the rollout of technologies such as ground source heat pumps and solar PV, carrying out in-depth feasibility studies and supporting with funding opportunities. We can also support with electric vehicle charge points if that’s part of your plan.

Energy efficiency

With a large and varied portfolio, it can be difficult to identify exactly how and where you could reduce your energy consumption and carbon emissions. We can provide insight into your consumption, using smart meters that provide AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) data. Paired with profile alerts, we can monitor your consumption, target anomalies, and reduce your environmental impact.

E&CM’s Carbon Action Programme

Before implementing your ideas for carbon reduction, it’s important to have a comprehensive net zero strategy in place – not only will this ensure you’re on the right track, but it will also guarantee that you’re contributing to global emissions in a meaningful way.

As part of our Carbon Action Programme, we will scope out your organisation’s journey to net zero for you. We can provide you with low-carbon solutions that will help you reach net zero by 2050 or earlier, maintain financial resilience, and provide a better future for your customers.

Our approach breaks the process down into four steps: Understand, Plan, Do and Review. The first step covers carbon footprinting, (measuring your scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions) and defining your level of ambition. We’ll then help you with goal setting, looking at all the options available to you to cut emissions, in line with your budget and investment criteria. We can then support with the implementation of your strategy, supplying a wide range of energy and carbon reduction solutions to help you reach your target. Finally, we ensure you’re hitting your milestones through regular reviews and reporting.

E&CM currently work with a variety of housing providers. We understand the housing sector and have the utility solutions that will make your life easier and take the burden off your in-house team.  To find out more about our framework, or any of our carbon-reduction services, contact E&CM today.

T: 0330 166 4444