Goal:  Environmental Sustainability

 ‘Improve the environmental sustainability and affordability of our homes, achieving an average SAP rating of 70 by 2016.’

Goal was achieved by March 2016, supported by the work achieved within our Reinvestment Reserve Programme

New Goal

‘Improve the environmental sustainability, local environment and affordability of our homes and estates, achieving the sustainability standards established by the 2016 Environmental Policy’

Strategic context

In October 2014 ‘Sustainability’ was added as one of our corporate values and made a cross cutting theme for the whole business plan.  The values underpin our mission statement “to improve the quality of life of people and the communities in which they live” and sits alongside our other values including our role in communities and maintaining financial security.

In 2015-16 the approach to our environmental policy was developed and finally approved by the Board in March 2016.

The new environmental policy has established our sustainability standards for new homes, existing homes, the wider living environment and the way Rooftop will deliver services over the next 40 years.

This includes:-

  • The specification level for new construction
  • The environmental quality standard to be achieved for all existing stock
  • Improving the wider living environment.

These are ‘hearts and minds’ policy choices that will shape our business plan and our communities for future generations.


What we have done …

1: Verify environmental stock data and develop retrofitting strategy (2012-13)
The SAP methodology has been amended since first introduced in 2005. This project verified the data held about our stock to ensure we target resources accurately.

2: Programme of retrofitting (2013-15)

This project implemented a number of specific measures to switch to renewable energy such as Solar Energy, combined heat and power, ground and air source heating systems and other environmental technologies with a total budget of £450,000.

3: Deliver a programme of internal or external cladding to all homes built of solid wall construction. (650 homes to be funded from the Tenure Change Programme) (2013-16)
From 2014 this project has been the main initiative to reduce fuel poverty and contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.  By carrying out external wall insulation to properties with gas heating residents will benefit from reduced heating bills on a typical house in the region of 30% that will help to reduce fuel poverty. This is a real cash saving for each property of at least £268 per annum and has increased the SAP value of each home by around 13 points. Total budget for the project was £4 million.

4: Environmental Policy review (2015-16)

This project has developed the Rooftop Environmental Policy.  Drawing from environmental studies, performance standards and best practice visits (including a visit to Freiburg in Germany to experience first hand how sustainable living has been embraced by a whole community), this policy determines the standards adopted by Rooftop.  It covers all aspects of sustainability involving new homes, existing homes, estate design and the way we will deliver services over the next 40 years.

What we are doing …

5: Solar PV installation (2015-16)

This project sought to provide lower fuel bills for approximately 3,000 homes by using a third party to finance the installation of solar PV panels for residents. This would benefit Rooftop by improving the SAP rating of these homes and also helps reduce fuel bills for residents.  Since the reduction in the Feed In Tariff (FIT) in December 2015 the current arrangement would not be financially viable for the third party, so alternative options for funding are being considered.

6: Implement the Sustainability Panel

This project establishes the Sustainability Panel, who will review progress and compliance with the new Environmental Policy through quarterly meetings where they will have responsibility for co-ordinating and overseeing the design and delivery of all business plan projects that are directly helping to implement the Policy.

7:  Environmental Management System (2016 – 2018)

This project will establish the target levels and the methodology and process for measuring and monitoring performance for each part of this policy.

8: Achieve EPC Band B in existing homes

This project will identify the programmes necessary to achieve higher efficiency ratings in Rooftop homes. It will prepare options ready for implementation through annual budget and business plan process and implement reporting mechanisms.

9: Ensure energy efficient LED lighting is installed in every home

Replacing existing tungsten lighting or halogen lighting with LED lights can provide an 80% reduction in lighting costs.  The first stage of this project will be to review the requirement and costs to change light fittings to make them suitable, and then consider whether the process will be carried out as part of the reinvestment programme.

10: Review options for defective premises to enhance the sustainability of existing homes (2016-18)

Review all Rooftop properties which have been built using non traditional construction to identify the options to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of the homes.

11: Living environment

This project will look at the ways that Rooftop can remodel and improve the wider living environment on our estates, together with the exemplar services to residents which support our environmental policy.

Associated projects

Review of asset utilisation – the review of under performing property assets will consider options for properties which may be unable to meet our new environmental standards