Eastbourne and Lewes scope housing decarbonisation

How Eastbourne and Lewes Councils are working with Clear Futures to address the long-term challenge of decarbonising their social housing stock.

Eastbourne and Lewes Councils have engaged Clear Futures to conduct research, alongside Brighton University, into decarbonising their social housing stock. The research has encompassed an additional six local authorities in the Sussex area to scope out bulk purchasing options.

Decarbonisation is a key area Clear Futures can help with, at a time when local authorities are stretched in their everyday obligations with now the additional pressure of meeting net-zero commitments.

For Eastbourne and Lewes, the decarbonisation research has looked at 40,000 homes and modelled the costs of potential interventions over a ten-year period to optimise programme delivery. For example, it has looked at solar PV installation and ground source heat pumps, taking into consideration the impact on residents who may welcome and need energy cost savings immediately but then may be faced with rising costs in the future. It has also calculated the potential savings if the council purchased materials in bulk and stored them until needed. “We are trying to look at different procurement solutions and realising that continuing to use the same answer isn’t solving this fundamental challenge everyone is facing,” Rivers added.  

Clear Futures creates a long-term relationship

We wanted to change the way we interacted, because we know that if everybody is motivated by making it work and happen for the longer term you get better results. It is in the interest of Clear Futures to get it right and not to behave in a short-term fashion to try to get maximum value out of one contract.

Ian Fitzpatrick, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Planning and Regeneration at Eastbourne and Lewes Councils

Committing to long-term partnerships also gives more certainty to the supply chain, encouraging investment in elements such as training, skills and research and development.

This approach incentivises investment in local skills development and gives certainty to local business to invest in growth. Taking a longer-term view is the most optimal way of delivery, if it is stop-start your local area won’t get the benefit. The seven councils in Sussex are spending £100m a year on our housing stock already and over a ten-year period we are going to spend £1bn by 2030. Clear Futures will make sure we can get the maximum benefits without sleepwalking into it – they will analyse and look at opportunities with us.

A ten-year horizon

Clear Futures will be operating well beyond ten-years, which is unusual for a procurement vehicle and makes a phenomenal difference. It gives us the opportunity to build the skills and education locally, create the local opportunity and concurrently achieve these long-term targets.

Helena Rivers, Director at Clear Futures and Director at AECOM

Other local authorities can use the partnership for transformative challenges in the built environment too – particularly those with an environmental and sustainability element.