BLOG: Our latest steps towards achieving a sustainable future
08 December 2021
As the Head of Sustainability and Strategic Asset Management, I will develop a clear direction that ensures we meet our environmental and strategic asset management goals.Leila Musa, Head of Sustainability and Strategic Asset Management
At the start of the year, we launched our first sustainability strategy which outlined our approach to a more sustainable future. Since then, we’ve been taking steps to implement the new strategy including recruiting residents to work with us as a Sustainability Ambassadors and starting large scale projects such as making improvements to the heating and hot water systems for our properties. We also recently updated the strategy to incorporate feedback from residents and recommendations from the Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT) report.
One of our latest sustainability achievements that will have a great impact on us achieving our sustainability goals is our work with heat networks (a communal heating and district system that provides heat and hot water to some of our buildings). You may not be aware, but Network Homes is a utility supplier, and we own and manage heat networks at some of our homes. These heat networks provide 2,227 households with heat and hot water.
One of our strategic objectives is increase the number of homes for people in housing need, starting at least 1,000 new affordable homes by March 2023. Most, if not all the homes we build will have an energy efficient heat and hot water system installed. Alongside our new homes programme, we also have ambitions to improve the energy performance of our existing homes. For some homes this may include the installation of a communal heat network.
What is a heat network?
Having a heat network means that we supply heating, hot water, or cooling to people through a communal heating system or a district heat network. This includes the supply of heat as part of a package, paid for indirectly through ground rent, service changes or other means. Heat networks are a great energy efficient method of providing utilities as they use a centralised energy source to produce heat and hot water which is then circulated around highly insulated buildings. This process reduces the amount of carbon wasted through heat escaping from our homes into the atmosphere.
Our latest success
As a utility supplier, we have a legal obligation to comply with guidelines and regulations set by the Government, which includes submitting compliance data required by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). These regulations drive energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from heating by installing meters and billing customers based on their consumption.
Under these regulations, BEIS required us to report on our schemes that have metering installed and to share data on their performance. We are very pleased and proud to announce that we have reported the performance of all our schemes ahead of the deadline.
The data we submitted will now be used to help the Government ascertain how effective heat networks are and to identify what, if any, improvements suppliers need to make to the buildings that have them, the heating systems installed or the metering equipment.
There is still plenty of work to do to ensure that we continue to manage our heat networks effectively and efficiently. We will facilitate stronger management of our heat networks, and this will help us to drive down carbon emissions. It will strengthen our efforts to reach the Government’s ambitions of carbon net zero by 2050 and also help us to reduce our costs, which means savings for residents who we supply utilities for.
As the newly appointed Head of Sustainability and Strategic Asset Management, I will continue our successes and the actions we need to take that supports the implementation of our Sustainability Strategy. This will include:
- Developing a retrofit programme and roadmap to decarbonise our homes;
- Working to tackle fuel poverty
- Getting residents and colleagues involved in meeting our environmental commitments and objectives
I aim to build a clear roadmap to ensure we achieve our long-term sustainability goals and meet the Government’s carbon reduction target.
Want to find out more about our sustainability work?
Join us as we continue the conversation about our approach to sustainability at our resident event on Thursday 27 January at 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Come along and tell us what you think about revised Sustainability Strategy and share your ideas on we can implement it to achieve our goals.