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SNG kicks off ambitious sustainability programme

SNG (Sovereign Network Group), has started work on-site to meet its bold sustainability ambitions for its 84,000 existing homes. In partnership with Sero, the Cardiff-based retrofit specialists, the first stage of the programme will see work on nearly 1,000 homes across SNG’s portfolio, with the first installations taking place at properties in Chieveley, Berkshire and Droxford, Hampshire.

To identify the improvements needed, homes were evaluated against the Homes and Place Standard, SNG’s innovative quality benchmark that was co-created with its customers. The standard underpins SNG’s commitment to building and managing homes in the most sustainable way possible, reducing its environmental impact alongside improving health, well-being, and affordability for its customers.  

Jim Dyer, Director of Built Environment at SNG, said: “Commencing these retrofit works marks a significant step forward in our journey to decarbonise our portfolio by 2050. This initiative not only aligns with our vision of thriving communities over generations but will also result in healthier homes and happier customers enjoying lower energy bills. The knowledge gained from these works – coupled with other retrofit pilot projects underway – will inform our strategic asset management and net zero investment strategy, focusing on the areas that matter to our customers, including carbon reduction.  

SNG’s digital retrofit journey takes a fabric-first approach that embraces renewable energy generation and storage, improved ventilation, innovation, and smart home technology. A dedicated team of retrofit coordinators from Sero is responsible for overseeing site assessments and managing project-related requirements for each home, collaborating closely with SNG’s resident liaison team to ensure effective communication with customers and seamless project execution.

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Andy Sutton, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer from Sero, commented: “Ensuring we have the right strategy in place, to get the right outcomes for SNG and its customers has been of the utmost importance. Putting those plans into action and commencing works on the first two sites, is a wonderful milestone for everyone involved.

“This is an important partnership, which not only will support SNG on its pathway to net zero, but crucially, will also support customers by providing homes which are healthy and more affordable. Furthermore, it will help create sustainable communities for generations to come.” 

The improvement strategy for the first 1,000 homes is supported by over £9m of investment from the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2.1 (SHDF), alongside £13.5m investment from SNG to deliver wider upgrades that will be felt over generations. SNG’s extensive programme of renewal will ensure these homes will achieve an EPC B+ rating which is set against SNG’s wider Corporate Plan to reach a minimum EPC rating of C by 2035 and EPC band B by 2047 – achieving compliance well before the Government’s target of 2050.

SNG was formed through the merger of Sovereign Housing and Network Homes in October 2023. The initial 1,000 homes in the retrofit programme come from former Sovereign’s existing homes portfolio.  Former Network Homes also received £9m SHDF Wave 2.1 match-funding to support retrofit of 2,043 homes. Combined, SNG will deliver 3,043 homes under this wave of SHDF funding by September 2025.

SNG’s investment strategy over the next 10 years will allocate £0.5bn to retrofit a combined portfolio of up to 14,000 existing homes to EPC B+ thereby meeting the strategic objectives of the Corporate Plan and Homes and Place standard that prioritises the customer needs of health, wellbeing and affordability while also mapping a measurable pathway to net zero.

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All the homes in SNG’s ambitious development plans to deliver 25,000 homes over the next ten years have been designed to meet the Homes and Place Standard.

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