Blog post from the Housing Executive's Sustainable Development Manager as COP26 gets underway

Business man at lectern
Robert Clements

Robert Clements is the Housing Executive’s Sustainable Development Manager.

Here, he outlines what his team are doing to help create a low carbon future through the Housing Executive’s Sustainable Development Strategy and pilot energy schemes.  

I have been working in housing for over 20 years and I view my current role as more of a personal passion than a job.

Our main focus is to improve people’s lives and make the planet a better place, all in line with the Housing Executive’s strategic vision of Making a Difference in our local communities.

My role as Sustainable Development Manager is to oversee how we are delivering housing to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

We’re proud to pilot a number of ground-breaking energy efficiency projects, such as Handiheat in Lisnaskea that started in 2016 with the aim to make rural communities fully sustainable.

Through this pilot, we introduced Low carbon heating systems in six of our homes - tenants are already noticing benefits, and the initiative is now in its final year of implementation.

We have also just commenced project RULET (Rural Leading the Energy Transition), in partnership with Ulster University.

Project RULET is being tested in 10 Housing Executive homes in Omagh and will trial a number of energy efficiency measures.

Similar to the Handiheat scheme, we are exploring low carbon heating options and the outputs will be available after a trial period of 12-18 months.

This new programme will consider capital costs, householder energy savings and carbon savings – and we hope to see more results that are positive for our tenants.

Our Sustainable Development Strategy has key principles we follow as we strive to help create a net zero carbon future in our organisation and beyond.

We want to provide energy efficient housing solutions for the people of Northern Ireland and to ensure everyone has access to a quality home, which is safe, affordable and warm.

These new programmes we are testing will have far reaching benefits for social housing tenants and home owners alike.

We also want to work with others to develop, maintain and create a sustainable future for our planet.

For more about our work, go to: https://www.handiheatproject.eu/

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