With owned or managed stock of over 230,000 homes, Places for People has over 50 years’ experience in creating vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods, supporting more than 500k customers. The UK’s leading Social Enterprise has community at the heart of everything they do, with the ability and expertise to create, develop and manage entire places, from supported living through to luxury homes.
As part of their drive to deliver minimum EPC Band C across their entire estate by 2030, they wanted something to better support them with conversations with key stakeholders like lenders and investors. It was then they employed the help of Parity Projects and their Portfolio product, in order to obtain a good base line of what they needed to do, and the cost associated with that work. Portfolio has since become an essential tool across the entire organisation, including Treasury, the Acquisition and Sales Team, Investors and the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) team.
How efficient is your stock?
“Everybody asks you ‘how energy efficient is your stock?’” explains Derek Watters, the Head of Environmental Sustainability at Places for People, “and because of the work we do with Parity and their Portfolio tool, we can give an honest and trusted response. Using Portfolio enabled us to start a debate in order to get an understanding of how to get a C rating on all stock by 2030 and then consider the next steps to Net Zero Carbon by 2050. The challenge is massive; there is no silver bullet and unfortunately technology won’t solve it all, but it can really help.”
“Our first mission is to support residents living in fuel poor homes and tackle any properties with an E, F or G rating, taking them to C or above. 81.6% of our regulated stock already meets EPC C or above, but we know we have more to do across our entire portfolio. It’s a challenge, but it’s something we can do thanks to Portfolio. It gives us an accurate understanding of what needs to be done and the associated costs.”
“Around 10% of our stock is in Scotland which comes under different, tougher rules, with all homes required to meet C rating by 2025 and B by 2032. We have worked with Parity specifically focussing on the Scottish market in order to create different scenarios to understand how to meet Scottish requirements.”
Data to rely on
“We now have people within the business that ask for Parity data as they know it can be relied upon. For example, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) only holds a certain amount of value – Parity helps fill the gaps and add credibility. Ultimately, we are only as good as our data and that data is continually out of date as things are always changing, but we are as close to it as we can be and that’s in part down to Portfolio from Parity.”
“We’re committed to improving our climate resilience and futureproofing our communities, which means we can be quite a challenging customer. Our customers are at the core of all we do, so, we do ask questions of and challenge the assumptions within Portfolio. Parity really embraces this and are very accommodating in working with us to further develop what we can do to support our thriving Communities. They’ve really helped us identify and fill any gaps in data to give us a more in-depth analysis of our stock.”
Russell Smith, Managing Director of Parity Projects concludes, “Places for People are an excellent example of how using reliable data can make a real difference in order to assist in the retrofit of housing stock to impact positively on Energy Efficiency. A Net Zero target can seem daunting, but Portfolio can help clients realise their decarbonisation objectives and help make smaller, short-term targets that build into the bigger picture. We’ve enjoyed working with Places for People over the years and look forward to supporting them further into the future.”
About Parity Projects
The earliest entrant to the domestic housing retrofit sector, for the last 17 years Parity Projects, has been driving the market in the UK focused on a mission to provide the most cost-effective route to Net Zero of the UK’s homes.
Parity Projects’ team covers the UK and uses data science, in-house software and analysis support to help clients – local authorities, housing associations, private landlords and, homeowners – to deliver energy efficiency to meet cost, comfort, health, legislative and carbon goals. Their data analytics services have been used to assess the potential for improved energy efficiency in over 8 million individual homes across the UK (155 social landlords and 2 million social homes on the platform). but also have digital energy twin for every house in the country to support the owner-occupied and private rented sector.
Parity is headed up by Russell Smith, who is the founder of not-for-profit co-operative RetrofitWorks, and plays a significant role in influencing Government policy and decision making when it comes to the Green Agenda. He sits on the Construction Leadership Council, Renovation Maintenance Improvement Working Group, and is currently the Director of the National Retrofit Hub. He is recipient of the Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, the Observer Ethical Award and Building Magazine’s Award for Sustainable Refurbishment. Russell is available to comment on related industry issues.