The Cost of Net Zero

ARK’s Director John Fisher took part in the Inside Housing (IH) ‘What will it cost for social landlords to secure consistently well maintained, net zero homes by 2050?’ webinar on the 11 March of which more in another blog at the same time Inside housing have revealed the results of their research into the costs of achieving Carbon Net-Zero in the affordable housing sector.

Their fascinating article can be found here but here are some of the most interesting points to emerge:

The survey was broadly based – “A total of 207 social landlords across all four nations responded to IH’s request for information about their decarbonisation plans and how much they expect to spend – including 152 stock-holding councils, 54 housing associations and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive”.

IH report that “While some landlords are aiming for their stock to become carbon neutral within the next 10 years, others are yet to set any meaningful targets”.

We are expecting that the Welsh respondents will be ahead of the curve as they react to the Welsh Governments pressure to act sooner rather than later. But landlords across the UK are now engaging in the problem and the potential solutions.

“Projected costs ranged from just over £2,500 per property to an eye-watering £40,000-£50,000 per home. Replicated across the roughly five million social homes in the UK, that would put the total cost anywhere between £12.5bn and £250bn at the most expensive”

Realistically the “mean cost of decarbonisation per social home is £20,742. Multiplied by the roughly five million social homes in the UK, that puts the total decarbonisation cost for the sector at £104bn”

Worryingly there is evidence that the sector is already ahead “the latest English Housing Survey, found that in 2018 the average SAP rating for all housing stock in England was 63. The average SAP rating of all respondents was 70.1”.

We are beginning to understand the scale of the zero-carbon agenda, we are also beginning to see the opportunities John Fisher says:

  • “We are just starting the zero-carbon journey, it is not a race or a competition, we need to progress carefully, learn as we go and collaborate across the sector
  • Retrofit works mean more jobs and more opportunities for SMEs’ – we need to build skills and capacity progressively
  • We have a unique opportunity to innovate design, products and processes.
  • Regeneration and new development should embrace MMC and deliver zero carbon homes now. ”