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Fri, 23 October 2020

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We need a national retrofit programme to deliver our 2050 goals

Institution of Engineering and Technology

2 min read

All housing in the UK must have zero carbon emissions from space and water heating.

Rick Hartwig, Built Environment Lead at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) 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.

“Innovation 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 and fuel poverty. 

“There is considerable practical experience in financing deep retrofit projects, managing them, and engaging with the social housing sector. 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 and make the investment attractive to householders.

“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, create employment and healthier homes.”

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