Mayor of London declares ‘retrofit revolution’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a package of retrofit measures to help tackle fuel poverty in the capital.

Working with London Councils and social housing providers, the ambitious new plans will boost London’s Green New Deal mission and sustain and create new green jobs in the capital.

The capital’s social housing urgently needs upgrading to be as energy efficient as possible with improvements including better insulation, low-carbon heat and clean power sources, such as solar energy, to deliver the Mayor’s climate targets and tackle growing fuel poverty. London has the third highest level of fuel poverty in the country, with Barking and Dagenham having the highest of any local authority in England.

The Mayor’s new Innovation Partnership will make it easier for social landlords and UK building firms to work together to upgrade ageing homes in the capital. The scheme will link up housing providers and builders through all stages of home retrofitting, from planning through to large-scale delivery. This will dramatically increase the pace of projects that upgrade cold, damp housing stock to homes fit for the future. 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.

The Mayor has also been backed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for London to lead the country by creating a national retrofit centre of excellence to help assist social housing providers gain access to funding for major retrofit projects.

The centre will build on the Mayor’s successful Retrofit Accelerator – Homes which aims to transform the way London retrofits its ageing and energy-inefficient housing to create warm, affordable and ultra-low carbon homes. It will also 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.

This is part of the necessary work to increase the quality and speed of retrofits, enabling social housing landlords to cut carbon emissions and reduce heating costs for thousands of homes and thus tackling the growing issue of fuel poverty. Social housing providers across England will be able to access free support from Summer 2021.

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.

“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.”

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