A housing association has set a target of being net carbon neutral by 2050. In its new Sustainability Strategy, Broadacres has outlined a roadmap which will lead to all its homes and operations having net zero carbon emissions within the next 30 years.
Work has already begun to achieve this with the investment the Association is making to tackle fuel poverty by replacing old storage heaters with new energy efficient heating systems, such as air source heat pump technology.
In the longer term, the Association will need to carry out even more extensive work, including replacing all gas boilers with heat pumps and installing renewable technologies such as solar panels. It is also looking to achieve net carbon zero in all other parts of its operations and this will involve such initiatives as reducing the amount of waste it produces and switching to an electric or hybrid fleet.
Over the next few years, Broadacres will be focusing on the research, planning and preparation which is needed to realise its ultimate zero carbon goal. This will include calculating its current carbon footprint and setting targets going forward and carrying out a trial retrofit on a range of existing homes to see what options are available for the future.
Helen Ball, Broadacres’ Sustainability Manager, said: “Limiting climate change is the greatest challenge of our time and with the social housing sector accounting for 17% of the national carbon footprint, we have a significant role to play. Much of the technology required to meet zero carbon standards already exists so our challenge, like all housing associations, is to look at the way we currently work and how we can adapt our approach to meet zero carbon targets. We have already made a start by installing air source heat pumps in more rural properties and tackling fuel poverty, but we recognise we have a long way to go."
“However, our sustainability strategy sets out our intent and working with our colleagues, customers and stakeholders, we’re looking forward to continuing on the road to zero carbon by 2050.”
In 2020/21, Broadacres invested installed 106 air source heat pumps in locations across North Yorkshire and in 2021/22, it will be installing a further 200. By the end of the year it is looking to have 1 in 9 of its homes heated this way. This investment is alongside investment in insulation.
I visited the home of Broadacres’ resident Mrs Smith this week, who had an air source heat pump fitted at her home in Stillington, near Easingwold, last summer. Broadacres has an exciting future ahead and their commitment to building energy efficient homes is commendable. It was great to see the impact this has already had on Mrs Smith in terms of lowering her fuel bills while also lowering emissions and shows why the Government's target of 600,000 heat pump installations a year by 2028 is so important.