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Transformation begins at home

Low carbon housing can empower councils to cut emissions and generate more income

According to the latest Government statistics Britain’s housing stock is responsible for almost a fifth (18%) of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The passing of the 2008 Climate Change Act means that Britain is legally bound to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050 and subsequently our country has pledged to become the world’s first major economy to cut carbon emissions to net zero in just over three decades.

Replacing Britain’s old, cold housing stock would play a big role in denting the 18% of carbon emissions generated by the residential sector. 

In 2016, the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, discovered a stark difference in Britain’s best and worst performing homes with the study finding that nearly ten times as much energy was used in the highest energy-consuming homes compared to the lowest.

In partnership with the County Councils Network Public Sector Plc commissioned a white paper outlining how the creation of a new generation of low carbon homes can help local authorities to tackle several problems.

As Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, and the CCN spokesperson for Environment and Communities observed in the report: “Low carbon housing is one solution that would help us to reduce emissions in our areas, which in return provides benefits for residents such as dramatically reduced fuel bills

“As many of our authorities look at innovative ways to enhance our financial resilience, investing in low carbon housing using our own land could also help to provide an income stream whilst providing homes for rent that are of a high quality and meet a local need.”

Cllr Philip Atkins, the leader of Staffordshire Council and the CCN spokesperson for Housing, Planning & Infrastructure added: “Low carbon housing could be part of both a solution to the housing affordability crisis, and the climate change emergency. Using our own land and taking control of the development could help to provide the right types of homes for our residents in the right place.”

Many CCN members have declared climate emergencies in line with local authorities across the UK.

As landowners there’s much that county councils can do to make better use of their land to accommodate and drive the development of a new generation of energy-efficient housing.

As a business Public Sector Plc has been anticipating this move towards low carbon development based on our conversations with local authorities over the past few years.

In 2018 we partnered with leading offsite manufacturer NetZero Buildings to design and build a carbon neutral family home.

Building precision manufactured homes in a factory, rather than building in a field means that using modern methods of construction homes can be built in just 20 days with just five construction workers per home.

Our LetLife housing rental model allows our council partners to quickly bring forward much-needed family housing for rent and means that councils can retain ownership of land assets and supply demand in the market where supply is not meeting demand, or where the existing rental stock is under pressure or of a poor quality.

The new homes also enable families to save hundreds of pounds a year on energy bills.

As well as helping to tackle climate change we believe creating a new generation of low carbon homes creates win-win for local authorities, taxpayers and for local residents.

To find out more download the County Council Network’s whitepaper here