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Essex housing association CHP has launched its first Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which sets out how its ambitious plans for creating sustainable homes and communities over the next 30 years.

The Strategy was developed following consultation with 300 CHP customers, and details how the housing provider will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

CHP manages over 10,500 homes across Essex and Suffolk. The Strategy sets out how it will reduce the environmental impact of its existing and new homes to achieve its target of zero carbon emissions. Making homes more energy efficient will also help to bring down household bills, meaning customers are less likely to fall into fuel poverty.

Currently 72 per cent of CHP’s homes hold an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), with an average rating of 74.79 (band C). This is already well above the national average for social housing (68.9 and band D).

CHP’s aim is for as many of its properties as possible to have an EPC rating of C or above by 2030. It will carry out retrofitting of energy efficient products in existing homes to achieve this. Looking further forward it wants all homes to have an A or B rating by 2050.

In its new-build properties CHP is embracing modern construction methods and innovative sources of renewable energies, such as air source heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels. It will also install smart meters whenever homes are empty, allowing customers to take full control of their energy usage.

The strategy also details how CHP is aiming to eliminate all unnecessary waste and is introducing good environmental practices across all of its services. Next year it will be introducing new electronic vehicles into its fleet, with infrastructure for charging at its offices. All garden waste collected is composted and waste collected from inside properties is recycled, meaning nothing goes to landfill. All electricity used in CHP offices and sheltered housing schemes is 100 per cent renewable and zero carbon.

Kate Franklin, Chief Operating Officer said: “We believe that the housing sector has a key role to play in the UK reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“The aims laid out in our new Environmental Sustainability Strategy are ambitious and challenging, especially as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. We are firmly committed to delivering on these goals and doing all that we can to preserve the environment for future generations.”