Net Zero Neighbourhoods

Local Gov't, Public Sector • Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, and more...

WMCA's Net Zero Neighbourhood programme is demonstrating how street-by-street retrofit across housing tenures and neighbourhood regeneration can be delivered by sharing approaches to community engagement, technical delivery and financing.

  • Taking a whole neighbourhood approach to achieving net zero locally.
  • Active community engagement to develop Net Zero Neighbourhoods.
  • Retrofitting all house tenures to demonstrate scale and replicability.

West Midlands Combined Authority's Story

The Net Zero Neighbourhood Demonstrator programme has been established by the West Midlands Combined Authority as one part of its strategy to cut regional carbon emissions to net zero by 2041. The #WM2041 strategy and its associated Five Year Plan show that we need to retrofit nearly 300,000 homes in the region by 2026 to meet our targets.

To date, initiatives designed to encourage individual households to take up deep retrofit and cleaner heating technologies have not generated change at a scale or pace necessary to shift the dial. The costs and disruption caused by making changes to individual homes significantly outweigh the short and medium-term benefits.

A different approach is needed.

The Net Zero Neighbourhood Demonstrator programme is designed to identify a small cohort of three to seven neighbourhoods across the West Midlands Combined Authority area where a new approach to creating low-carbon energy communities can be explored.

Working with each neighbourhood in turn, we will co-invest £2.1 million in retrofit and low-carbon heating measures on a street-by-street or small-area basis while also enabling other wider measures to make the neighbourhood a more sustainable place to live.

The programme will demonstrate: low-carbon energy communities that offer residents an attractive, sustainable place to live, work and play; replicable blended finance models that generate long-term returns through energy savings and wider socio-economic benefits; scalable approaches to delivery which stimulate local supply chains, generate economies of scale, and unlock local employment opportunities; tailored approaches to community engagement which address householder concerns by co-designing a range of improvements and benefits for households and communities across tenure types

We are designing the programme to encourage a cohort approach, where learning is shared between Local Authorities and delivery partners to ensure the approach can be replicable in the future.

Useful Learnings from West Midlands Combined Authority

We are taking a cohort approach to the programme to encourage cross-learning and collaboration between the Local Authorities in the WMCA and delivery partners. The benefit of this is to accelerate action by sharing best practice to create a delivery and finance model that is scalable across the West Midlands.

We are in the early stages of identifying neighbourhood and potential partnerships and we welcome ideas and feedback on how to take this programme forward to achieve our aims.

West Midlands Combined Authority's Metrics

Number of households in the area that opt in to the retrofit offer.
Proportion of the community that engage with the Net Zero Neighbourhood development.
Carbon emission reduction across heat and transport use within the area.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Response to climate crisis





Local Gov't, Public Sector, 250 to 10,000 people

Shared by

Midlands Net Zero Hub

Updated Nov, 2023

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