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“Future Proofing our Homes” Why Yarlington is continuing to make energy efficiency a priority

At Yarlington we recognise the need to develop a property standard that future proofs our homes and meets the needs and aspirations of our customers today and in the future. That’s why we’re continuing to make fuel poverty a priority.

I recently saw a survey of asset management trends and priorities in Inside Housing. With 160 responses, it provided a pretty clear picture of the sector. Understandably, compliance and fire safety ranked highest, but I was surprised to find only 25% of respondents said they were definitely working to reduce fuel poverty.

At Yarlington, our customers’ safety is our highest priority so we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to deliver a proactive fire safety project.

But we’re also committed to delivering an Asset Management Strategy that future proof’s our assets and that’s why we’re continuing to work to improve energy efficiency standards across our properties and drive the low carbon heat agenda forward.

Yarlington owns and manages a stock of approximately 10,000 affordable properties with the majority built between 1946 to 2000s, the management of these properties is fundamental to providing our customers great places to live. As a result, the efficiency of these properties cannot be ignored.

As a sector we’re also fundamental to helping achieve the government’s 2050 environmental targets and must be mindful of the proposed impact the future homes standard will have on our new build developments.

At Yarlington we pride ourselves on taking a proactive approach to defining standards. So what are we doing?

We’ve developed an ambitious fuel poverty plan which will ensure that energy efficiency measures are delivered to all properties below EPC band C. While the government has set a target of 2030, we’re committed to delivering by 2025 and will continue to review our energy efficiency targets to ensure they are suitably stretching and future proof our homes.

During the current year we have been working with Low Carbon Exchange to identify areas of high priority and have set up 15 pilot sites to carry out initial improvements using renewable technology to form the basis of our wider project delivery, we are also utilising the pilots to consider our longer-term low carbon heat strategy both in terms of existing stock and new build developments.

Not only are we delivering energy efficiency improvements to our properties, but we’re ensuring our customers are a part of the journey with us. As we progress with the project, our customers’ engagement has already proven that we made the right decision to keep it a priority, as we continue to receive feedback on how significant a difference energy efficiency measures make to our customers lives.

One customer was so impressed with the work and the idea of renewable energy that they’re now considering buying an electric car!

So, for Yarlington, making fuel poverty a priority is fundamental to meeting the aspirations and needs of our customers and future proofing our homes.

If that’s not a reason to keep energy efficiency at the top of the agenda, what is?

Rose Bean, Yarlington’s Head of Asset Management