Thought leader interview with NetZero Collective Lead Neil Waite

Recently, NetZero Collective Lead Neil Waite spoke to the Charted Institute for Housing ahead of their Housing Conference in Manchester on June 28th-30th. 

What will be the biggest issue you hope to hear more on at Housing 2022?

We need to move on from discussing our zero-carbon goals and ambitions to refocus on delivery. So, this year I’m hoping for a shift away from theory – we have talked about the ambitions and goals for too long. We can no longer afford to do small scale pilot schemes if we are to hit our net-zero goals. We need to ramp up delivery and spread this huge amount of work over as long as possible. The longer we delay, the harder it becomes to achieve due to supply and resource issues. The technology exists, it’s time we embrace it.

What will you be speaking about in your session?

I’m presenting a case study about what NetZero Collective is delivering with Crawley Borough Council and ForHousing to decarbonise homes and secure SHDF funding. I’ll outline how we minimise upheaval while maximising the benefits for clients, an approach that’s aligned to PAS2035 and is endorsed by the University of Southampton, alongside other ways we ensure efficient service delivery. I’ll discuss the efficiencies electrification offers, and why hydrogen is a distraction for home heating. Lastly, I’ll touch on our approach to helping clients to maximise grants and carefully budget works, whilst using data to prioritise according to vulnerability and fuel poverty.

Tell us a question for the Secretary of State

Achieving EPC – C by 2030 doesn’t go far enough on the journey to decarbonisation. Is this a distraction and do we need a more challenging interim target if 2050 net-zero targets are to be achieved? EPC – C doesn’t decarbonise, it just reduces energy use.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m excited to be exhibiting for the first time, and specifically to be meeting clients face-to-face for the first time post-pandemic. I want to hear their thoughts and ideas, and it’ll be great to discuss NetZero Collective’s work with clients.

Name us the housing speaker of your dreams and why?

Joseph Rowntree (1836-1925). As a pioneer in social housing during the industrial revolution, he saw that decent homes were a requirement for quality of life. I believe that if he were here today, he would be focused on decarbonisation as the key goal to improve people’s wellbeing for the future.

Why is it vital the whole sector has a place to meet each year?

Getting everyone together allows us to live and learn on the journey to decarbonisation. It gives us a forum to share ideas, which is vital for progress. Plus, it’s fun to see what others are doing and a bit of competitive spirit pushes us all to do more.

Book for your ticket for Housing 2022 now and make sure you visit us on stand E27!