Retrofit for the future: tenant attitudes to decarbonising social housing


Mark Washer, Chief Executive Officer

At Sovereign we believe that everyone should live in a home and a place where they feel safe, part of their community and where they can thrive. Sustainability is at the heart of that commitment, and we have set out ambitious plans to achieve net zero carbon. 

We understand our responsibility to future generations, who will inherit the built environment we are investing in today. The Homes and Place Standard, our new quality standard for homes, is explicit about the need to build in a way that is sustainable and to build homes that can be sustainably maintained. Our homes will also help people move towards zero carbon, reducing energy and water use and saving money. In the housing sector, in most of government and amongst policy makers in general, the case for decarbonising housing has been made.

But to deliver that, we need to make that case to every tenant in every home. We need them to see the benefit not of ‘greener homes’, but of their greener home. That means reassuring people that improvements will really improve a home and that cleaner energy doesn’t mean colder houses or higher bills. In some cases, it will mean people leaving for a new home. In every case it will mean ensuring the best outcomes for our customers, their communities and the generations to follow them.

Sovereign has already embarked on a major programme of strategic asset management to implement our Homes and Place Standard. As we move to the next phase, piloting retrofitting and deciding where best to invest, we wanted to do so with our eyes open to our customers’ concerns. As with Homes and Place, this research was co-created with our customers. I want to thank them for their invaluable contribution and interest in the work we do.

I am proud that Sovereign is leading the way on setting the very highest standards for affordable homes and great places to live. In sharing our research findings, we hope others will benefit from the insight we’ve gained and join us in our commitment to creating a sustainable future.

Mark Washer

Chief Executive Officer

Retrofit for the future – Executive Summary [pdf / 1.59MB] Opens in new window

Retrofit for the future – Insight Report [pdf / 1.73MB] Opens in new window

Insight report

Detailed research findings

Research methodology