UK-GBC calls for focus on whole home retrofit ahead of Autumn Statement

The Chancellor Philip Hammond will make his first Autumn Statement on Wednesday and is expected to announce a green paper on the industrial strategy as well as the initial findings from the Government’s Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel.

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Ahead of these announcements, the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) is calling for whole home retrofit to be both a cornerstone of the industrial strategy and an integral part of estate regeneration plans. 

On a national level, whole home retrofit can help to reduce our reliance on gas imports and cut carbon emissions. For local communities it can create employment opportunities, reduce maintenance costs, and reduce crime and antisocial behaviour. And for households it can bring down energy bills, increase property value, and make warmer, healthier and more comfortable places to live.

UK-GBC has recently launched a research project looking at the regenerative impact of improving the UK’s existing housing stock. The Regeneration and Retrofit Task Group will make the case for retrofit-led regeneration of housing estates to complement demolition and reconstruction projects. Sponsored by AkzoNobel, the Task Group will also develop new tools which can help to fund and deliver regenerative retrofit projects.

Alexandra Willey, Head of Asset Sustainability at Affinity Sutton and chair of the Task Group said: "With the Government rightly focusing on regenerating housing estates and helping vulnerable residents it is important that no-one is left behind. High quality whole home retrofits can transform residents’ lives, not only bringing down energy bills but also increasing property value, improving health and comfort. A careful balance of physical improvement and retrofit works will deliver refreshed and modernised neighbourhoods with improved facilities, opportunities to mix with neighbours from all walks of life and greatly improved life-chances.”

Peter Howard, Commercial Marketing Manager at AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK and member of the Task Group said: “We are proud to continue AkzoNobel’s involvement with UK-GBC as part of this Task Group and as a Gold Leaf UK-GBC Member. We welcome the government’s focus on Industrial Strategy and Regeneration as ways to inspire and deliver positive change across the UK. We believe home retrofit should be one of the top priorities for these strategies.  

“We firmly believe the home is at the centre of UK society and that the improvements to individual homes can not only improve the lives of residents but create better, more resilient communities.  Home retrofit can build local skills, provide local employment and connect local communities across the UK, especially in areas that need it most.”   

Richard Twinn, Policy Advisor at the UK Green Building Council said: “All too often the approach to home retrofit in the UK has been the piecemeal installation of individual energy saving measures like new boilers or loft insulation. But this misses the wide-ranging benefits of high-quality whole home retrofit.

“Area-based home retrofit schemes can create employment and skills opportunities across all areas of the UK. And by reducing domestic energy demand it can slash our reliance on gas imports and boost productivity. The industrial strategy is an opportunity for the Government to recognise these benefits and establish home retrofit as a key opportunity to fuel economic growth.”

UK-GBC’s Regeneration and Retrofit Task Group will be publishing its findings in Spring 2017. Following publication of the task group report, UK-GBC will be undertaking a programme of engagement with local authorities and the wider industry to encourage the delivery of retrofit-led regeneration schemes. The Task Group is sponsored by AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK.

The organisations represented on the group include:

  • Affinity Sutton
  • AkzoNobel
  • Arup
  • E.ON UK
  • Haringey Council
  • Linkcity
  • PRP
  • SmartKlub

Published: 21/11/2016

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