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NHMF 2023 – New Challenges and New Solutions?

Jan 27, 2023

Well that’s a wrap, the NHMF conference 2023 again raised challenging questions for the sector. But it was great to see many rising to the challenge and coming up with new and innovative solutions to get housing once again on the front foot.

We saw great sessions covering everything from the increasing role of data, action on mould, damp and condensation and how new regulation will move housing from accidental energy suppliers to fully regulated energy suppliers. As always, it is great making new connections and catching up with familiar faces, while learning about the latest innovations in the housing sector.

Day one of the conference consisted of some great topics and speakers: we dropped in to Chris Lees from Data Clan Ltd session, learning about how bad data keeps us from making good decisions. There are significant challenges with analysing data and making the decision whether the data we receive and use on a daily basis is fit-for-purpose or not.

On heat networks, we regularly find missing or estimated data, which impacts system efficiency calculations, leading to inaccurate heat tariff setting for customers. We need to create strong data foundations to ensure scheme performance and financials are resilient.

We also dropped by Jenny Brierley’s session of Breathable Homes to hear about housing research findings regarding the hot topic of healthy indoor air in homes. If housing providers are to deliver healthy and warm homes for occupants, as well as minimising and/ or avoiding needless carbon emissions, getting the ventilation right is a crucial step in that process.

After an insightful day, things lead nicely on to the NHMF award ceremony, where Chirpy Heat were shortlisted for two awards: ‘Most Innovative Property Service’ in collaboration at Octavia for our Heat Manager service, and ‘Best Net Zero Carbon Initiative’ in collaboration with at The Hyde Group for the optimisation reviews carried out on their portfolio, identifying different measures that can be implemented to improve heat network performance. Huge congratulations to all award winners, there are some truly great things happening in the housing sector right now.

For the final day of the conference, the focus was on new regulations facing the sector with our very own Rachael Mills’ session alongside Richard Bellingham from Ofgem, Richard Ellis from Peabody and Tessa Barraclough from Riverside, outlining what needs to be proactively done now to prepare for what is coming. As we say – regulation is never simple – compliance should be. If you want to know more about what 2023 holds in store for heat networks, you can find more information on our ‘2023 year ahead’ blog.

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We hope everyone had as much fun as we did the last few days, and we look forward to carrying on conversations and discussing ways in which we can support the housing sector by getting heat networks right, ensuring they deliver on their low-cost and low-carbon promises.

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