‘Retrofit revolution’ declared for London

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The Mayor of London has declared a ‘retrofit revolution’ in the capital, announcing a new package of measures that seek to make buildings more energy efficient and tackle the climate emergency.

London’s homes and workplaces are reported to be responsible for 78 per cent of the capital’s carbon emissions and virtually all will need some level of retrofitting over this decade.

The Mayor’s new Innovation Partnership is set to make it easier for social landlords and UK building firms to work together to upgrade ageing homes in the capital.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, commented: “A strong economic recovery from COVID-19 and a green recovery are not mutually exclusive.

“This transformative approach to retrofit will directly help those living in ageing, energy-inefficient homes, and could play a vital role cutting energy bills and tackling fuel poverty.

“It will also support Londoners with the skills they need for jobs in the green economy, rebuilding our city post-COVID so that it’s cleaner, greener and fairer.”

The scheme is set to link up housing providers and builders through all stages of home retrofitting, from planning through to large-scale delivery.

According to the Mayor’s office, the partnership has the potential value of £10 billion in retrofit works, which would create around 150,000 jobs over the decade.

The Innovation Partnership is open to social housing providers across the UK, with at least £5 billion estimated that could be spent in London.

London has the third highest level of fuel poverty in the country, with Barking and Dagenham reported having the highest of any local authority in England.

The Mayor of London has also been appointed to create a new programme to help accelerate energy efficiency projects for social housing across England.

Backed by £3.45m from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the programme will provide technical support and guidance for social housing providers looking to retrofit their aging and energy inefficient homes.

The centre is set to build on the Retrofit Accelerator – Homes which aim to transform the way London retrofits its ageing and energy-inefficient housing to create warm, affordable and ultra-low carbon homes.

It’s also set to directly help social housing providers develop plans to improve their chances of being successful through the next round of the £160m Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

Social housing providers across England will be able to access free support from summer 2021.