Retro-fitting of council housing & housing stock

Ellie Cutkelvin, Leicester Council Assistant City Mayor, Education & Housing writes on retro-fitting

While it is a step in the right direction to have the money (£3.8bn over 10 years equates to £380m a year) that Central Government have made available through such schemes as the Green Homes grant and the Social Housing Decarbonisation fund to address the residential retro fitting journey to meet our climate commitments

  • It is not enough money!
  • It has too many strings and limitations attached to it (such as the Green Homes grant only being available for those who earn under £30k for limited work).
  • Does not deliver sufficiently in the Private rented sector and owner occupied sectors.
  • And often does not leave sufficient time for delivery in a market limited by the lack of infrastructure and trained installers.

The Government need to invest significantly more, remove the requirements for Local Authorities to have to meet the bill for this necessary and drive forward with the required infrastructure to take their responsibilities seriously in meeting the Climate Emergency.

There are 27 million properties in the UK, many of which are in need of work to meet our world’s climate challenge. Without the government delivering what is needed at sufficient scale and speed in this sector, our nation will be left lagging behind others because we do not have the money, the capacity or the skills to be able to deliver the size of the programme that is required for a robust and timely residential climate retrofit journey.

Over 1,000 homes a day could be retrofitted with low-carbon efficiency measures by councils by 2030 – reducing energy bills by nearly £700 million – with the right investment and support, as set our recently by the Local Government Association.

Councils are a unique and powerful partner in achieving net zero, able to impact on more than a third of all emissions from villages, towns and cities, such as through housing, transport and the natural environment.

With the right powers and investment of £12.2 billion by 2030, the LGA report sets out how councils can:

  • Retrofit 3.49 million homes with energy efficiency measures by 2030, 2.34 million more than under the current plan – amounting to on average 1,017 homes retrofitted each day that would save £698 million per year from energy bills;
  • Create the warmer and comfortable homes and buildings that would reduce costs to the NHS by £1.9 billion every year;
  • Support almost 31,000 new, skilled jobs in the construction and retrofitting industries.

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