We are obviously all coping with huge inflationary pressures in every area including, of course, fuel costs. Most residents of our student housing pay a rent that is inclusive of gas heating so initially Zebra has to absorb this. Thankfully we fixed some of our gas prices but inevitably we will be faced with much higher running costs in the future, and these will need to be passed on to residents. We won’t be increasing rents for existing residents until April 2023 and although we will try to absorb as much of the price increase as possible its inevitable that the rent increase will be higher than in previous years.
Most, but not all, residents pay for their electricity through a prepayment meter. Can we suggest that all of you try to get smart meters that can be topped up electronically. This will allow you to monitor your use of electricity. We will also be publicising what help is available to you from the government.
And we can all do things to try to reduce our use of energy. This will save us money and is better for the planet.
Please turn off lights and appliances when not in use – and that includes chargers for electrical equipment.
Don’t waste heat in your flats. Of course, you need ventilation, but don’t fully open or leave windows open.
If you have your own central heating boiler turn the room thermostat or radiator thermostats down to 19C. Reduce the time the heating left on. If you are out during the day, make sure the heating is turned off and make sure it’s turned off at night.
Where there are communal boilers, Zebra will be reducing the heat to 19C, we’ll be turning off radiators in communal areas and will be turning the heating off entirely between 12.00am and 6.00am.
We realise that our international student residents come from across the world and a London winter can feel very cold and damp, so we have tried to take this into account in introducing these energy saving measures. Please let us know what you think of these measures and if you have any further suggestions by contacting Steve on firstname.lastname@example.org
Zebra has begun the long process of decarbonising our student housing. This is a thirty-year programme to reduce carbon usage to zero by 2050. Our priority is to improve the fabric of our student housing primarily by looking at insulation, windows and lighting. We are prioritising the student accommodation that performs most poorly in terms of energy usage.
Whilst some of our stock of student accommodation is old and poorly insulated it’s better to insulate and improve old housing rather than build new homes which uses a lot of carbon. Our student housing is located in beautiful buildings in lovely locations, and we want to preserve these for future generations of international students.
Our programme has started at Jerome House, where we have begun to insulate flats on the top floor as they become vacant. We will also be replacing some windows, replacing the roof covering, insulating the roof space, replacing lighting with LED and fitting photovoltaics. We will consult all those affected by this work when we have clearer dates and work schedules but it’s likely the more major external works will begin early in 2023.
We have established a new committee – the Development and Building Sustainability (DaBS) Committee to oversee this process for the Board.
We will also want to see how we involve residents in decarbonisation for it is vital that residents work with us to reduce carbon. If you have any thoughts or want to engage with us on all matters to do with how we reduce carbon usage please let us know.
The Board is due to hold its annual strategy day meeting in September where it will be considering New Codes of Governance and Conduct, Board recruitment, the Annual report to residents and reviewing Zebra’s Vision and Values
During the normal day, between 8.30am and 4.30pm, maintenance and repairs should be reported to email@example.com
But if you have an emergency repair outside of office hours, please remember that you should report if first to your warden or deputy warden (in their absence). They will know what action to take.
Our Wardens and Deputy Wardens are a vital part of our service to residents and we are massively grateful to them for their work.
Please use our web portal MyHome (https://myhome.zebrahousing.com/) to improve your communication with Zebra. MyHome allows you to report & track repairs, amend your contact details, submit student letters and check your rent account. You have already received information on how to use MyHome, but if you need further assistance, please contact David Morrow (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The planning for the next collection of Social Programme events (October-December) is well advanced, and will be published on the website and emailed to all residents during the week beginning Monday 26th September.
It will be an eclectic programme of events, offering some of the most interesting experiences London has to offer, at generously subsidised prices.
Tickets usually sell very quickly, so we recommend you get your orders in as soon as you receive the programme, to avoid disappointment.