REMOURBAN’s Energiesprong pilot has been cited as a best practice case study in a new report from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Nottingham Trent University. The report states that the UK cannot build its way to a low-carbon future without retrofitting the UK’s old, cold homes to meet 2050 climate targets.
Deep retrofitting is a whole-house approach to upgrading the energy efficiency in one step as opposed to a series of incremental improvements over a long period of time. This includes: Adding solar panels and local micro generation*, insulation and ventilation, and sustainable heating systems.
Rick Hartwig, IET Built Environment Lead, said: “If we are to meet the 2050 targets of the Climate Change Act, then all housing in the UK must have zero carbon emissions from space and water heating, and space cooling.
“New and innovative products will always assist in reducing costs and improving energy performance, but sufficient work has already been done in research and pilot studies, to show that massively reducing the carbon emissions and energy requirements of current housing is achievable and needs to be done. Retrofitting has other benefits too, making cold homes warmer, healthier and reducing bills.
“There is considerable practical experience in financing deep retrofit projects, managing them, and engaging with the householders. We need to build on that experience to create a national retrofit programme to deliver our 2050 goals. This will not only help drive demand but allow greater scale to cut the costs per property.
“Local Authority and Housing Association homes account for 17%, approximately 4.5million, of UK homes. It is the logical place to start scaling up demand for retrofit and driving down costs.
“A one-off deep retrofit versus 30 years of ongoing maintenance costs gives better economic outcomes and a quicker improvement in housing quality. This is not just a technological challenge; Governments - both national and local - must take the lead in encouraging and supporting the necessary changes which will in turn support clean growth.”
Professor Marjan Sarshar, Nottingham Trent University, said: “Achieving retrofits to 2050 standards is technically challenging and currently too expensive. New knowledge based supply chains, advanced manufacturing techniques and better business models are necessary to reduce costs. Ten early demonstrators have already been achieved in Nottingham, through an EU project called Remourban. Joint action from government and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) will allow scaling up of these early experiences at a national level.”
Current barriers to the development of a national programme include: lack of customer demand – the proposition is still not attractive enough; no effective policy driver for change; costs per home are too high as there is not yet a supply chain that can deliver deep retrofits cost effectively, in volume and at speed; and a lack of initial financing.
The report calls for both national and local Government to take the lead in encouraging and supporting the necessary changes, which include:
The full ‘Scaling Up Retrofit 2050’ report is available on the IET website: www.theiet.org/retrofit2050
The report as been featured accross the media
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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 646511