North Wales’ largest housing provider Adra has launched its new decarbonisation strategy, vowing to reduce its carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency across its homes.
The 6,400-home social landlord launched the strategy alongside the Welsh housing minister Julie James at this week’s virtual Homes UK conference.
The move makes it one of Wales’ first housing associations to show its commitment to the Welsh government’s drive to decarbonise the country’s homes by 2030.
Ffrancon Williams, CEO of Adra, said: “We are pleased to launch our decarbonisation strategy alongside the Housing Minister at Homes UK; never has the importance of a warm, secure and affordable home been more important. We’re taking action on climate change as part of our collective commitment to the Well-Being of Future Generations.
“At Adra, we consider lowering energy consumption as being key to helping reduce running costs for our residents and reducing fuel poverty which is at its most striking as we enter the winter months and during this pandemic.
“Adra is well placed to collaborate with many stakeholders. In Gwynedd, there is a strong network of community energy social enterprises and charities we have already started to work in partnership with. We all need to work together to make a difference.”
Adra’s strategy will see it decarbonise its business activities as well as its existing and new build housing stock, which will be heated and powered by clean energy sources.
Examples of the steps Adra plans to take include using solar energy, using air source heat pumps, and developing homes to Passivhaus standard.
Adra recently outlined its plans to build 1,200 affordable homes over the next five years. The housing association says it will use modern methods of construction to build these homes, use local SMEs to reduce its carbon footprint, and in turn create green job and training opportunities.
Linda Campbell, decarbonisation champion for Adra’s board, added: “Our new decarbonisation strategy will bring benefits in terms of new jobs, skills and economic activity and release growing numbers of residents from the real threat of fuel poverty.”
Using funding from the Welsh government’s Optimised Retrofit Progrmame, Adra is piloting the retrofit of 50 of its homes to develop the best approach to retrofitting its housing stock.
Adra plans to retrofit all its housing stock over the next three years, an investment estimated to cost around £120 million. The programme will draw on support from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme.
Julie James, minister for housing and local government of Wales, said: “I’m delighted to see Adra’s commitment to addressing our climate emergency and reducing bills for tenants across North Wales.
“This is an exciting time for the housing sector as we work together to deliver more affordable, zero carbon homes, supporting the Welsh construction industry and creating training opportunities. I look forward to seeing the retrofit and new construction in progress.”
Adra owns and manages 6,400 homes in North Wales and was created in 2010 as part of a stock transfer from Gwynedd Council.