NetZero Collective launches for housing providers

A new collective of leaders in housing, energy, property services and higher education have joined together to set new standards for the development of low carbon technologies in homes.

Led by property services business Liberty, the NetZero Collective has been developed in response to the national challenge to achieve a carbon neutral economy by 2050, a statement said.

Together with low carbon energy specialists, and academic research partners, University of Southampton, represented by the Energy and Climate Change Division (ECCD) and NquiringMinds, the NetZero Collective will produce an evidence-based software system to inform new approaches and technologies.

Ray Jones, managing director of Liberty, said: “Climate change and the national target to achieve a carbon neutral economy by 2050 is a significant challenge for the housing sector and property services providers will need to rise to. This challenge needs a change in strategy and new investment, and it is clear transformation is the only way forward to ensure we play our part in making the UK meet its targets.

“The NetZero Collective has been developed because everyone involved believes that our building sectors need to be at the forefront of this agenda. That is why we brought together a team of industry and academic experts to explore the best and most cost-effective ways to decarbonise buildings in the UK. We believe that this smart and straightforward collaboration will enable housing providers and commercial property owners to make the right investment decisions, based on strong data and research.”

Prof AbuBakr Bahaj, head of ECCD at the University of Southampton, said: “This is an important initiative as it addresses a core pillar to net zero pathways the decarbonisation of emission from our buildings. The ECCD team will provide the needed robust analysis to understand such pathways and quantify needed interventions.”

The initiative will work with interested partners who will commit to providing between five and 20 properties each to the NetZero Collective’s research programme. Research will begin this autumn, with the first 100 properties being surveyed and fitted with energy monitoring equipment. The data gathered during this coming winter will be used to specify an appropriate list of retrofit works for each property to maximise energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without increasing the cost to heat or cool the property for the resident.

The retrofit works will begin in spring/summer 2021 and energy use monitoring will continue for at least 12 months afterwards.