Social housing can help reduce society’s carbon footprint with renewables
The United Kingdom has set a legal goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve this, the government wants to increase household energy efficiency and transition to greener heating methods by the end of the decade, halving the energy use of new builds.
Considering 40% of UK emissions come from households, it’s clear to see that our homes have an important part to play in meeting the 2030 emissions reductions.
In 2020, around 4 million houses were occupied by households socially renting.
This just goes to show how big a role housing associations and local authorities will play in tackling the climate crisis.
What do the pioneering ReFLEX Orkney project, the unique ‘Solopower’ solution, and the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator all have in common? They are either led by or partnering with one innovative energy services company, SMS plc, which is on a mission to support housing organisations with long-term sustainability and fuel poverty targets.
The intelligent application of distributed green energy technologies – in tandem with new financing solutions that aim to make mass rollout across UK homes realistically deliverable and widely affordable – has potential not only to help Britain fully decarbonise, but also dramatically reduce rates of fuel poverty in the process.
It’s perfectly understandable that many people are struggling to feel the Christmas spirit, as yet another year is added to the number of years of failure in housing policy. 2020 will definitely be one for the history books. Of course, the Covid pandemic naturally stole our focus, but in truth, there still exist a myriad of issues afflicting the housing sector that were around before the virus and will continue to make people’s lives difficult going forward if we do not come together as an industry to solve them. Housing Association Magazine’s Joe Bradbury takes a look at what the social housing sector needs in 2021.
Housing Association Magazine Editor Joe Bradbury takes a sneak peek at the social housing Santa list. Excitable Edgar aside, what do we want for Christmas as a sector?
It’s understandable that many are struggling to feel jolly as another year is added to the number of years of failure in housing policy. The once common concept of home ownership is now an impossible dream for many, and untold numbers of people are being pushed into homelessness.
The catastrophic decline in social housing has left millions feeling insecure in unaffordable homes they’ll never own. Unless we take action, the future of man will be a generation of young families that are, at best, trapped renting privately for their whole lives, with billions in welfare costs being paid to private landlords. Bah humbug!
Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg recently carried with her over a 15-day, 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic a powerful message; "our war on nature must end.” The 16-year-old sailed from Plymouth to New York on a zero-emissions yacht in order to minimise the carbon footprint of her travel and will be participating in UN climate summits in New York City and Chile.
If anything is to be learned from this, it is that the time for action is now.
Earth Overshoot Day, the day that humanity uses up its allowance of natural resources such as water, soil and clean air for the entire year, fell on the 29th July this year. This means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than the Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate.
HAs dealing with tenants with problems sometimes face anger. One way of mitigating that is to make sure that HAs are able to solve tenant problems quickly. Joe Bradbury looks at how HAs can mitigate tenant anger with failing heating systems.