Helping to make London’s homes more energy efficient: Kore Mason, Greater London Authority

Reading time: 2 minutes
7 April 2016

Kore Mason, Programme Manager, Greater London Authority, talks about the emissions that come from homes in London their RE:NEW retrofit program to make these homes more efficient. This is part of The Climate Group's project Home2025.

Major capital cities have a vital role to play in the global effort to halt climate change.

The Mayor of London has set an ambitious target to cut emissions in the capital by 60% below 1990 levels by 2025.

London’s population is projected to grow by a million people by 2025 so a collaborative approach will be required in order to meet these challenging carbon targets, while maintaining adequate energy and water supplies and reduce the risk of environmental disasters such as flooding or heatwaves.

Housing accounts for over a third of London’s emissions, and since roughly 80% of today’s buildings will be standing in 2050, the need to decarbonize existing housing is clear.

However there are unique challenges when it comes to installing so called ‘retrofit measures’ such as insulation, new boilers and solar panels in London. This is because of the large amount of housing with solid walls which are costly to insulate, lots of flats, a high number of conservation areas where planning regulations prevent some environmental improvements, a high number of private rented properties, and higher installation costs.

One way London is responding to these challenges is through RE:NEW, the Mayor’s award-winning program to help make London’s homes more energy efficient.

The program helps organizations such as London boroughs, housing associations and universities to implement retrofit projects and alleviate fuel poverty. It is doing this through an expert team providing the end to end support needed to get projects up, running and successfully implemented, and a framework of suppliers, which saves time and resources for organizations that are buying retrofit services and works.

RE:NEW is currently working with over 50 organisations and to date the program has helped improve over 113,000 homes, saving £7 million on Londoners energy bills and around 32,000 tonnes of carbon every year.

But what’s motivating social landlords to make energy efficiency improvements – is it about climate change or are there other drivers? A survey of 140 housing providers carried out by RE:NEW revealed that:

  • 83% of housing providers are motivated by concerns about fuel poverty and tenant health, and just 16% were motivated by climate change.
  • Investment in domestic retrofit has grown by 10% in the last two years.
  • Many organizations consider procurement to be a barrier to project delivery.

RE:NEW used these findings along with feedback from organizations it supports to help shape the support it provides. For example, a study is underway to help to demonstrate the business case for retrofit, which should help to influence decision makers.

A dedicated RE:NEW Innovation Unit is also helping to ensure the program keeps up to date with the rapidly changing retrofit landscape by continually learning from leading practice.

Back to Home2025. For information please contact us at home2025@theclimategroup.org

 

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