Energy and decarbonisation industry leaders have broadly welcomed recent recommendations from the Decarbonisation of Homes in Wales Advisory Group as a useful step, whilst noting more needs to be done more quickly, especially around finance.
Sero Energy and PassivSystems are two companies at the forefront of this industry agenda that are already delivering retrofit and new build decarbonisation solutions to social housing landlords and developers in Wales.
Speaking in reaction to the report, James Williams, managing director at Sero Energy said: “Although they have fallen significantly in the last decade, Wales has some of the highest figures for fuel poverty in the UK, and we welcome the overarching aims of the report that set out the need to create a culture in which improving energy performance of homes is a societal norm. We hope that Welsh Government quickly responds to these recommendations and tackles the challenges and opportunities presented by the need for a large-scale retrofit programme for Wales. In particular – we want to see the right financial infrastructure put in place to ensure the value of decarbonisation is understood and supported at a market level.”
Colin Calder, CEO of PassivSystems said:
“This is an exciting time for those of us challenging the way we use high carbon energy sources for heating our homes; we are delighted to see the Welsh government leading the way in highlighting the urgent need for shaking up how we approach domestic energy usage. We look forward to seeing these recommendations develop into tangible next steps for deploying low carbon hybrid heating systems into Welsh homes as well as seeing the Welsh Government lead a UK wide discussion on how we can take the learnings from research and test projects to address the interrelated crises of fuel poverty and climate change”.
The Group’s report published today makes a range of recommendations to Julie James AM, Minister for Housing and Local Government, and Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, to the approach to reducing residential carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
The report recommends that by 2050, every home in Wales is upgraded to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) A or as close as it can be to that (the current average Welsh EPC is D), and that the Welsh Government kickstarts that process by delivering a ten-year programme to bring every socially-owned home and every home in fuel poverty up to EPC A by 2030.
The report also makes a range of longer-term recommendations in order to address the remaining 80% of Wales’ housing that are owned privately, including that Welsh Government appoints a green finance task force to identify how best to intervene and what necessary funding needs to be made available. The report is light on detailed proposals, but does contain hints around the urgency of addressing the current financial and market challenges to decarbonisation arising from the disconnection between energy and value, including suggesting consideration should be given to using Council Tax as a lever.
Sero Energy and PassivSystems are currently working together on a number of projects including Parc Hadau, a new build to rent development of around 35 zero carbon homes in Pontardawe being submitted for planning later this year by Sero Homes.