The Welsh Net Zero Carbon Hwb has been established by Welsh Government as an all-Wales agency to help developers, Local Authorities, Housing Associations and residential social landlords reduce the negative impacts of homes, in both building and operation.
The Hwb will be a collaborative portal open to all social housing providers, where building performance data, product information, case studies, reports and “best practice” guidance can be accessed. The Hwb will also develop and deliver a training programme to help social housing providers deliver the best possible outcomes for their newbuild and retrofit projects.
Social housing represents about a fifth of the homes in Wales. Welsh Government has set out a range of measures to address carbon reduction in this sector’s new and existing homes and the Hwb is one of those measures, alongside the existing Optimised Retrofit Programme and the Innovative Housing Programme.
Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change, said: “We are in a climate emergency and projects like this will help us reach net zero by 2050.
The Hwb will play a key role in helping developers, social landlords and their tenants reduce the carbon impact that housing has on carbon emissions.
Importantly for Wales, the Hwb will help the social housing sector to go net zero early, bringing the benefits of low energy bills and healthy home environments to those who need it most.”
The consortium of partners delivering the project includes The Energy Saving Trust, Good Homes Alliance, TrustMark and SERO.
The need for the Hwb commenced with the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019 by Welsh Government. Welsh Government set a target to reduce the level of carbon emissions by 85% by 2050 in line with its commitment to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.
The concept of a Welsh Government endorsed Hwb was evidenced in the Welsh Zero Carbon Housing Performance Hub report in 2021. The Hwb will also be a resource for all similar initiatives to ensure a cohesive and coherent direction for net zero.
The Hwb will initially be phased over three years to support social landlords and local authorities in the use of net zero carbon design and technologies in both their new and existing homes. It will seek to co-ordinate and learn from existing innovative projects and other similar initiatives across the UK.
The Hwb is hosted by Clwyd Alyn Housing, an affordable housing provider based in North Wales and supported by a steering group consisting of representatives from Welsh Government, Clwyd Alyn, CHC Cymru, Carmarthenshire Council, Denbighshire Council, Pobl Housing, Welsh Local Government Association, and the Design Commission for Wales.
As the Hwb develops, the following areas of activity will take place:
- Optimising policy consultation and development
- Reducing the risks of innovative new build and retrofit
- Expanding the Welsh net zero carbon supply chain
- Facilitating co-ordination across the skills and training sector
- Enhancing occupant engagement and consumer perceptions
- Stimulating innovation within the finance sector
The Hwb will also play its part in enabling a zero-carbon economic renewal that is aligned with the supply chain in Wales. Importantly for Wales, the Hwb will help the social housing sector to go net zero early, bringing the benefits of low energy bills and healthy home environments to those that need them most.
- Julian Brooks, Good Homes Alliance – email@example.com
- Darren Hatton, Welsh Government – Darren.Hatton@gov.wales
- Tom Boome, Clwyd Alyn – Tom.Boome@clwydalyn.co.uk