Retrofit Revolution declared by Mayor of London

A ‘retrofit revolution’ has been declared by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. This comes after data reveals that London’s homes and workplaces produce 78% of the City’s carbon emissions. The ‘revolution’ will be spearheaded by a package of new measures which aim to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and address the climate emergency.

The Mayor is working with social housing providers and local councils around the Greater London area to draw up the new plans, which will help to boost London’s New Green Deal initiative and promote a wave of new green jobs in the City.

According to government data, London has the third highest level of fuel poverty in England. However, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has the highest levels of fuel poverty of any local authority in the country. Coupled with the news that the capital’s housing stock and commercial building produce 78% of the City’s carbon emissions, this has begun to raise alarm bells around London.

To address this problem, the capital’s social housing stock urgently needs improving to bring it in-line with energy efficiency targets. By improving homes’ insulation and non-green energy sources, it is hoped that the Mayor’s climate targets can be met. This will also help to address the disturbing levels of fuel poverty in the capital.

An integral part of the overall plans to increase London’s uptake of green energy are proposals to introduce more solar energy generating devices to the rooftops of London’s buildings.

Sadiq Khan has also been backed by the government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to introduce a national retrofit centre of excellent in London to help social housing providers access funding for retrofit projects.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Creating jobs and tackling the climate emergency are two of my priorities for London and that’s why I am delighted London is leading the way on a retrofit revolution. With the COP26 summit taking place later this year, it’s vital that we show how London is leading the way with our Green New Deal.”

Stroma Certification’s Director of Energy Certification 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.”

Stroma Certification is delighted that Mayor of London’s office is taking the challenge of retrofitting homes seriously and is doing so away from a central policy from government. I can see the merits of focusing on social housing, as the process and roll out can be managed more effectively.

However, this is not a problem that is exclusive to the social sector. In fact, the biggest challenge will be to make retrofit work within the owner-occupied segment, sometimes known as the ‘able to pay’ sector. As we know from previous government initiatives and policies, this is the most difficult ‘nut to crack’ and in fact, the majority are not ‘able to pay’ and we will need overlapping UK-wide and local authority policies and support to ensure that segments of the housing market don’t get left behind. There also needs to be a focus on upskilling and scaling up on the industry as a whole, in order to ensure that we can retrofit at scale.

This has to come from a joined up, long term, approach with suitable levels of investment and commitment from local and national government. The industry needs clarity and certainty, and soon.”

You can read the ‘retrofit revolution’ press release in full here

Stroma Certification and Whole House Retrofit

Stroma Certification is providing online training for existing Domestic Energy Assessors to upskill to be able to carry out Retrofit Assessments in-line with the PAS 2035 Standard. To learn more about our Retrofit Training and Certification schemes, click these handy links.