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On 24 April 2024 at The Pavillion in Llandrindod Wells the Welsh Zero Carbon Hwb was launched.

110 delegates attended with the Zero Carbon Hwb team and representatives from the Hwb steering group.

Chair for the day was Elfed Roberts from Pobl Housing Group who is also a Hwb steering group member.

The event kicked off with a video address from Julie James MS, Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Local Government and Planning.

This was followed by several presentations. The first introduced the Hwb  followed by three case studies from both the Innovative Housing Programme and Optimised Retrofit Programme.

After lunch the Industry Advisory Groups (IAG) were introduced to the delegates by their respective chairs/lead member.

Four breakout sessions were then held, themed around the four IAGs that the Hwb has created:

Policy IAG

Several key themes emerged during the session. One significant area of discussion centered on the concept of net zero. It was emphasised that a clear and consistent definition is crucial, particularly for consumer understanding. It was also felt that any innovation needs to use real world energy metrics rather than modelled and needs to take into account householders and their feedback.

Skills and Training IAG

The discussions highlighted several issues, including the need for improved training programs and the shortage of skilled professionals entering the sector. Another significant concern was the lack of available trainers, as many qualified individuals prefer to remain in the field rather than take on training roles. One proposed solution was to encourage retired industry professionals to become trainers. On a positive note, the removal of the cap on green training and the introduction of flexible skills funding were seen as major steps forward.

Finance and Innovation IAG

The availability of funding for new builds was highlighted as a positive development, along with a focus in policy documents on reducing energy demand rather than solely relying on EPC or SAP ratings. Although innovation is encouraged, there is often reluctance from financiers and insurers to support new technologies, which can limit their use. To address this barrier, discussions emphasised the importance of the group engaging with insurers and funders.

Supply Chain IAG

The group discussed the fact that there is an appetite to train and upskill housing providers and that energy networks and manufacturers are keen to engage with the industry. There were discussions about how issues with standards can stifle the supply chain for example it was felt that the development of standards was intermittent making it difficult to upskill the supply chain in a timely manner as well as feelings that there is a gap between PAS 2030/35 and best practice as it is too bureaucratic.


There was some consistency across the groups in terms of how the Hwb can help support the sector. These included sharing knowledge between RSLs/HAs and tenants, facilitation of more collaboration within the sector, hosting an annual conference to help share best practice and leading strategic thinking. The IAGs have taken away all the points mentioned at the launch to consider in further discussions as the groups evolve.

The forum on the website have a board for each IAG group so members can comment on and discuss these topics to help develop our thinking on how the Hwb can support.

The event closed at around 4pm.

Feedback from delegates has been excellent and we thank all those who helped create thoughtful and satisfying event, especially, Elfed Roberts, Julie James MS, Steve Fanning, Tom Boome, Graham Sumsion and Cat Griffiths Williams and the Hwb Team.