Warmworks reflects on the SFHA Energy and Net Zero Conference 2022

By Jenny Langskog, Senior Business Development Manager and Ian Cuthbert, Supply Chain Development Manager

SFHA’s events schedule provides Warmworks and organisations like us with an excellent opportunity to share insights from our recent housing association projects – both the challenges and opportunities presented – and hear from those in the sector about how the policy, funding and wider economic landscape is impacting upon the delivery of their services to their tenants. The SFHA Energy and Net Zero Conference in particular is beneficial for us to attend as the event centres on how we can best support fuel poor tenants in our transition to a net zero society – an issue that Warmworks is uniquely placed to support, given our experience of having delivered over 145,000 energy saving measures in the homes of over 30,000 vulnerable customers.

As the Managing Agent for a number of energy efficiency projects, a key part of Warmworks’ role is supporting our supply chain with the upskilling required to install low carbon heating and renewable technologies at scale, in order to meet the demand that comes with our transition to a net zero society. We realise that to successfully support fuel poor households, it is important to share learnings and insight through effective engagement with the supply chain. We also provide valuable insights on new and emerging products, systems and innovative approaches, which we are able to share with SFHA members through these events.

At last month’s SFHA Energy and Net Zero Conference, we hosted a green skills workshop for housing associations. The aim of the workshop was to explore how investing in green skills will be critical to Scotland’s success in becoming a net zero society. In the context of our social housing projects, we demonstrated how Warmworks has assisted the supply chain in upskilling to meet the demand for low carbon and renewable technologies. The workshop focused on understanding what ‘green skills’ look like and how they are vital to enhancing regional and national growth, as well as the government’s role in enabling the development of these skills, and how the energy industry is adopting them.

We also recognise that it’s vital to listen to the needs of the social housing sector. This ensures that the way we develop and deliver our projects has a positive outcome for tenants and helps to define our role in driving a just transition to net zero.

Looking forward from the conference, we aim to continue our work in supporting housing associations to assess their stock portfolio and establish how they can best meet the second Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2). This involves providing an indication of the cost and timescales associated with upgrading their stock to meet the standard, while outlining the challenges and opportunities that are specific to the geography and make-up of their properties. We are also able to identify specific properties that are most in need of investment and would be eligible for support and can take the lead in preparing bespoke applications for grant funding. Some key feedback from SFHA’s recent Energy and Net Zero Conference indicated that SFHA Members are in need of third-party resource to ensure they can benefit from available grant funding – a service that Warmworks is well placed to continue to provide as a result of our track record in leveraging and managing varying types of grant funding.

This article first appeared in Housing Scotland Today, SFHA in February 2022

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