Reply To: The future of natural gas

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Nancy Esslemont

Hello Ronnie, your question will be at the very least on everyone’s ‘to list’! Feedback from ASCP members tells us that social housing providers across the UK are at varying points in the journey – from initial discussions on whether current assets can be converted, toproject scoping to achieve government targets on carbon emissions, to 5 year plans, right through to asset surveys and procurement engagement.
We are in regular comms with a number of organisations highlighting emerging technologies in domestic energy production in order to bring new options to members’ attention. There have also been a number of sector wide seminars around achieving Carbon Zero and the substantial challenge of retro fit. A really important, common thread from all these sources is the need to take a ‘whole’ view (trying to avoid using the term ‘hollistic’!!) For all renewable/ carbon zero options, assets need an acceptable level of airtightness to maximise efficiency, and where direct electrification of heat options are considered eg solar panels, ground/air source heat pumps etc, cost efficiency is only maximised when incorporated as part of a wider plan including Electrical Energy Storage Systems ( battery storage).
A recent webinar on Retro fit in Social Housing advised on what can be done right now –
1/ Set a target – for councils this will be guided by government guidelines- on net zero / emissions reduction
2/Ventilation/Airtightness – you can maximise thermal performance across your assets now
3/ Engage as a whole organisation to make your plan and then get a budget set.
4/ Government funding (both direct and devolved) is available for decarbonisation in Social Housing.
Below is a link to the National Energy Foundation website which has a useful tab on renewables a starting point.
The AGSM and AESM tech meetings will continue to include emerging technology information to help members and would be great to hear what other members are thinking!