The importance of social landlords on the journey to Net Zero
With the recent announcement of the Green Homes Grant and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, our Energy Revolution Integration Service is keen to better understand the motivations and challenges to installation of innovative low carbon technologies in social housing.
Whether you are local authority involved in social housing or energy projects, a business owner or technology developer considering social landlords as a customer, or a housing developer or social landlord wanting to improve your services to your residents, while at the same time creating new revenue streams and helping the environment.
We want to build on our understanding of the challenges and needs of those involved in the supply chain, and what could be done to support this, and also what can we learn from those doing this today.
One of the key priorities for the Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme, is to show that when a local energy system is designed to be inclusive, it is possible to provide better services that people value, and develop robust business models to support these services. A broad range of partners are involved in delivering and ensuring these outcomes, and therefore to be successful, it requires those involved to align their ways of working towards a joined-up vision.
Motivations v Challenges
From previous research into new heating options and services in social housing, we understand some of the motivations and challenges faced by social landlords:
- Need to balance the cost of housing maintenance now, against future investment needs
- Stretching small budgets
- Choosing technology that is well evidenced and safe
- Often slow decision making – up to 2 years for new tech – but Sustainability Managers can progress more quickly
- Funding for low carbon initiatives is usually from grants or similar
- Chasing funding takes a lot of their time
What a low carbon heating system needs to do
- Relatively low lifetime costs (eg. purchase, install, maintenance, etc)
- Be easy to fit and maintain
- ‘Plug and play’ technologies perceived to cover these (above) needs
- Certified and demonstrated in situ – ideally trialled in their homes
We would like to build further on this research to include other technology options and other local areas to improve understanding between stakeholders and for us to support and accelerate the deployment of low carbon technologies within local areas across the UK.