A roadmap to decarbonise Wealden District Council’s housing stock has been agreed.

The decarbonisation project is part of the council’s commitment to achieving a net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Already the council has focused on energy efficiency improvements as part of its planned programme of works and offered advice to its tenants.

Improvements include solar PV, LED lighting air source heat pumps, solar hot water systems, loft and cavity wall insulations, double and triple glazing, high efficiency gas boiler replacement and smart metre campaigns.

Now the council’s cabinet committee has agreed to a five step approach to decarbonisation which includes retrofitting existing homes focusing on a fabric first approach.

This is about boosting the energy performance of the council’s existing homes and may include the inclusion of renewable systems where these are required to achieve energy efficiency targets.

Other steps include building new homes to a higher energy efficiency standard focusing on the fabric and low carbon heating systems; changing usage behaviours; meeting future heating needs; and off-setting carbon generated.

Wealden District Council’s housing and benefits portfolio holder Councillor Ray Cade said, “We are committed to achieving a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner and addressing the climate emergency.

“As a social housing landlord, the council has an important role in contributing to the challenges of climate change with regard to the residential sector.

“Doing so will also improve health, wellbeing and comfort for residents, including for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those living with chronic illnesses

“This roadmap highlights the scale of the challenge and develops a plan for the start of the council’s social housing journey to net zero. It focuses on predominantly understanding, planning and targeting for the future.

“The proposed project plan is only the first stage of our response to decarbonisation. It will be a live document, continually updated to reflect further refinement, funding availability, policy and technical changes. We will continue to monitor our progress, respond to emerging technology and best practice and work with partner organisations.”