Towards a low carbon Peabody.
Achieving deep cuts in carbon emissions from existing homes will be one of the major challenges facing social landlords over coming decades. The viability of meeting this goal for existing Peabody stock has been assessed for this report. The findings indicate that there is great potential to meet this goal through physical improvements to existing Peabody estates. However, if challenging carbon reduction targets are to be met, action by Government to decarbonise the grid and action by residents to constrain energy demand is also a necessity. Substantial stock refurbishment is likely to be required for Peabody estates, with solid-walled dwellings being insulated and estates being connected to low-carbon communal heating systems where viable. To achieve deeper emission cuts, micro-generation technologies such as solar photovoltaics are likely to be required. Even with considerable financial support from Government, these improvements will require substantial extra expenditure. In fact, this research points to a future context for carbon reduction refurbishment at Peabody where improvements may not lead to overall savings over the long term. As a result, if rent increases were used to fund the considered emission reduction measures, they would outweigh fuel bill savings, leaving residents worse-off financially. If the task of carrying out comprehensive carbon reduction refurbishment is taken up Peabody, or any social landlord, this research implies that this would be likely to lead to increased costs that the current funding model for social housing is unlikely to be geared up to deliver. This raises important questions on how this increased funding should be delivered. Deep emission cuts can be achieved in social housing, but this research implies that strong action is required by all stakeholders involved, in particular Government, residents, and landlords such as Peabody. This report goes some way towards clarifying some of the challenges and issues involved, and points towards strategies for making strong action on climate change mitigation in the social housing sector a reality.
Citation : Reeves, A. (2009) Towards a low carbon Peabody.
Research Group : Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
Research Institute : Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)