Getting to Band C by 2030 has fast become a strategic target in the sector. This has recently been given a major boost with funding now available for insulation measures; both large and small. The funding is adding £millions to investment programmes to those who are moving quickly before it runs out. To secure your funding drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.adecoe.co.uk/resources/eco
The funding can deliver loft and cavity insulation as well as Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) and provides free Energy Performance Certificates as part of the package. Programme assessment and all surveys are free.
With limited budgets and increasing demands to complete Fire Risk Assessment works (FRA), investment in energy efficiency has been hard won over the last few years. But sector leaders now recognise that Band C is rapidly becoming the minimum target and that the long term goal is to meet net zero carbon for not only their existing homes but their development pipeline and corporate activities. This is a challenging target but one the sector can meet if it takes the right approach. Many in the sector are now forging ahead by setting some key principles and taking some simple steps, outlined below.
There is no one solution to either meeting Band C or net zero carbon. They are both a destination, and the journey each housing provider will take will be different. However, there are some key principle that can be put in place, the first of which iscarrying out the no regrets measures – those measures that, whatever twist and turns come over the next few years, or whatever new technology comes along, will not close down options or have a negative impact on reducing energy consumption. The bonus is that these are often the simple measures such as basic insulation, and of course the good news is that many of these attract full external funding. Other measures include photovoltaics which are likely to play a key part of whatever low carbon world we create. The key is building the approach that works for your organisation and customers: it will reflect where you are starting from, the portfolio you manage and critically the next key factor – data.
The second key element of building the strategic approach is data. Understanding what data you have; how good it is and what is missing. Spoiler alert – no one has the perfect data. Let’s be honest: the data we have built over the last twenty years has been to meet Decent Homes and NOT to reduce carbon emissions. But much of it can be used and now is the time to assess this critically, use what you have and change what is needed.
Thirdly, reaching these targets, and in particular net zero carbon, should be seen as a strategic goal and not just one for existing homes. It’s true that existing homes are by far the biggest challenge, but it should also include new homes.– They’re the easy bit: I say this partly because it is a true, but also because it’s a cheap challenge to our colleagues in development! Improving the corporate portfolio falls somewhere in between the two which proves it’s as much about people as it is about technology, which leads on to our final point.
Fourthly, this is not just about the technology. Achieving Band C and beyond is not about any old technology. You cannot drive the strategy through the energy tech equivalent of the Halfords Accessories department to see what sticks. Meeting these targets will involve a massive cultural, psychological and process shift from basic binary choices to one that involves smart assessment, clever decision making and informed application that will move the sector from elemental upgrades to focusing on portfolio performance. This is going to be about brains, not just brawn and budgets.
Finally, don’t get left out in the cold. Even if you ignore all of the above, just get on with doing one thing: get some of those no regrets measures that someone else will pay for. And do it now while the money is there: don’t spend 12 months developing the perfect strategy only to find that all the funding has gone.