It’s Earth Day! Though of course every day is Earth Day at Sero. For us, it’s a chance to look at the big picture of how we’re progressing tackling the Climate Emergency and the Biodiversity Crisis.
Across the UK and internationally, the short answer is not well enough. The English Future Homes Standards is a relaxation of home energy fabric standards, it is not an improvement, and the UK government seems not to understand that even thinking about a coal mine completely conflicts with hosting the COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow in November! We still lack a widely used and accurate definition of Net Zero and the tools to underpin this, and vested interests continue to confuse the issue around energy solutions. Throw in to this the predictable failure of the Green Homes Grant Scheme for England and we have a pretty grim picture.
But all is not gloom and doom. Sero’s home nation of Wales is forging ahead and increasingly being seen as a leader in the decarbonisation of homes. Wales’s new building standards will be the most efficient in the UK, pushing fabric at its heart as the longest term, best way of reducing demand. The forthcoming Welsh Housing Quality Standard, applicable to publicly funded homes, starts to address the fundamental importance of harmonising how homes demand energy with how a green grid generates energy as the only viable way to deliver Net Zero.
At Sero, we’re doing our bit. With a collaboration of nearly 30 social landlords we’ve got more than 2,000 homes being retrofitted this year, alongside hundreds of new build homes being built that won’t ever need to be retrofitted. We’ve built and are expanding our digital tools to help homes along their pathway to zero as efficiently as possible, demystifying Net Zero to put the end in sight. And Sero Life, our home energy management service, is running homes for our customers that typically reduces their carbon emissions by more than 40% (and on their bills too!).