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Our energy and environmental performance in 2019/20

Our carbon footprint | Energy and environment facts and figures | Improving the energy efficiency of our homes | Renewable energy systems in our homes | Landlord utility supplies | Our offices | Measuring and reporting on performance

Our Energy and Environment team was set up in 2019/20 to lay the foundations for, and develop, our comprehensive Energy and Sustainability Strategy 2020-2022 (PDF, 2MB).

Much of the team’s work has involved data gathering, detailed analysis and modelling, to allow us to assess our current position and benchmark for the future, helping us to meet our own energy-efficiency targets and those of the Government’s net zero carbon agenda.

The team also delivered some real results, improving the energy efficiency of nearly 300 homes to help alleviate fuel poverty, and saving hundreds of thousands of pounds in utility bills.

In 2019/20, we:

  • Reviewed our environmental impacts and risks across all parts of the business
  • Measured our full carbon footprint from operational emissions for the first time
  • Produced our Net Zero Carbon Roadmap for 2050
  • Improved the energy efficiency of 275 fuel poor homes to EPC band C (or higher)
  • Procured 100% renewable electricity for our group electricity contract
  • Procured a new utilities service bureau to improve the management of utilities bills, saving £227,000.

Our carbon footprint in 2019/20

We measured the full carbon footprint from our operations (excluding embodied carbon from construction and refurbishment work) for the first time in 2019/20.

Emissions source

Carbon (tnCO2e)

Percentage

General needs homes (32,000)

79,963

92.32%

Landlord electricity supplies

3,898

4.50%

New homes (1,000 per year)

1,200

1.39%

Hyde vehicle fleet

650

0.75%

Offices

412

0.48%

Personal car use

331

0.38%

Public transport

160

0.18%

We now have energy performance data for more than 90% of our general needs homes (70% of our entire stock), which are responsible for more than 90% of our operational carbon emissions. This data has enabled us to undertake detailed energy modelling to understand our options for achieving net zero emissions.

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Energy and environment facts and figures

  • Our total carbon footprint (excluding embodied emissions from construction and our supply chain) was 79,963.3 tonnes, equivalent to the carbon emissions of a town the size of Hastings
  • 64% of our general needs homes meet EPC band C or above
  • Our staff travelled over 1.85 million kilometres for work, 3.7% fewer than 2018/19
  • Our property maintenance vans travelled 1.6 million kilometres, 36% fewer than 2018/19
  • Staff travelled 1.35 million kilometres by train, 5.3% more than 2018/19
  • Landlord supply electricity consumption increased by 13% from 2018/19, due to 79 sites being added to our contract. Carbon emissions from these supplies increased by 2%.
  • Our 164 landlord gas supplies used 37milion kWh of gas, with carbon emissions of 6,870 tonnes (8.3% more than 2018/19)
  • We run 16 community heating schemes supplying heat to more than 2,000 customers.
  • Out of 2,060 landlord utility meters, 193 are smart meters.

Improving the energy efficiency of our homes

One of the most effective ways we have of reducing our carbon emissions is to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. The Government has set a target for all existing homes to reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2035. All fuel poor homes must achieve the target by 2030.

Our aim is for all our homes to reach EPC band C by 2030.

In 2019/20, 19,001 of our general needs homes (about 66%) achieved band C or above. The average UK home is mid-band D

EPC band

Number of general needs homes

Percentage

A

2

0.01%

B

3,276

11.26%

C

15,813

54.35%

D

8,220

28.25%

E

1,462

5.02%

F

292

1.00%

G

32

0.11%

Alongside our stock investment programme, we apply for external funding, such as the Government’s social housing decarbonisation fund and its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme to improve the energy efficiency of our homes.

We secured £2.5m of funding in 2019/20 to improve the energy efficiency of 275 off-gas grid homes, which are particularly vulnerable to fuel poverty.

We installed new efficient heating, such as air source heat pumps, and other measures, including improved insulation and solar PV panels. This was supported by energy advice to customers to help them manage their new heating systems, to maximise their savings.

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Renewable energy systems in our homes

Type of system

Number of systems

Solar PV panels

480

Solar thermal

60

Air source heat pumps

75

Exhaust air heat pumps

27

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

27

Landlord utility supplies

We manage more than 2,000 landlord electricity and gas supplies. Most of the costs are passed on to our customers, so it’s essential we’re able to measure and bill accurately. It’s also important that we’re able to identify where energy consumption is high, so we can tackle these to reduce costs and carbon emissions, such as smart meters, LED lighting and solar PV systems.

The savings are significant – we saved £227,000 in 2019/20 and expect to save more in 2020/21.

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Our offices

We carried out energy surveys at our four main office sites in 2019/20 to identify potential energy and carbon savings. We found that overall consumption reduced in 2019/20 compared to the previous year, which can be partly explained by reduced office use in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Naturally, we expect this to fall significantly in 2020/21, due to the ongoing lockdowns and with most staff working remotely.

Measuring and reporting on performance

We have committed to reporting on our energy and environmental performance annually – the next report will be published in January 2022. 

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