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Posts Tagged ‘Retrofit’


Installer Power: Releasing the potential for local building trades to get energy improvements into homes

Catrin Maby OBE is an independent researcher and consultant, and PhD candidate at Cardiff University, with more than 30 years’ experience in delivering energy advice and energy efficiency programmes.

Installer Power: the key to unlocking low carbon retrofit in private housing’ by Catrin Maby and Alice Owen (University of Leeds) was supported by the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts Climate Change Collaboration.

It’s time to face up to reality. We need to achieve ‘near zero energy’ levels for all our home by 2050, but what are we actually doing to achieve this?  We have run programmes to increase the deployment of those technologies that fit a short term simplistic view of what is ‘cost-effective’, and Feed in Tariffs to shift the market in microgeneration. This is not enough. The focus is on single technologies, and there is little incentive or even encouragement to achieve really deep energy savings.

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Green Deal,Retrofit

Retrofitting the Green Deal

retrofitting-the-green-deal-large-thumbnailProperly executed, the Government’s new Green Deal energy saving loan scheme has the potential to transform energy saving in Britain’s homes, bringing in big gains to the economy, household budgets and the environment at the same time.

But it has got off to a disappointingly slow start and seems on course to deliver a few tens of thousands of home retrofits a year, at most. Given all of the time and effort that has gone into creating the scheme from government and the private sector and the scale of the original ambition behind it, this is a tiny sum.

The Green Deal ought to be delivering several 100,000 retrofits a year. A goal of more than one million homes per annum would be reasonable given the size of the task of improving the UK’s still highly energy-inefficient housing stock.

The benefits in carbon savings, energy bill reductions, maintaining and creating jobs and enhancing welfare and health from this level of retrofits would be enormous.

The most important problem with the Green Deal, as it now stands, concerns a funding gap caused by its so-called ‘golden rule’ which places limits on how much a household can borrow under the Green Deal. Most households which might be interested in taking out a Green Deal would find themselves having to pay at least £1,000 upfront.

Green Deal assessments, the starting point for the scheme, need improving and the bulk of them need to be provided free of charge.

In this report we make several recommendations which, taken together, represent a retrofit for the Green Deal – one which would enable it to fulfil its great potential.

The Green Deal interest rate needs to be lowered; we suggest how it could be. We also argue for a government-backed incentive scheme for Green Deal retrofits. This would help to close the Green Deal funding gap, but it would also encourage many households to use the Green Deal as an assurance scheme without having to use Green Deal finance.

We make recommendations for improving the assessment process, for encouraging more small businesses and traders to be engaged in the scheme, and for the Green Deal to have a stronger impact in streets and local communities.

This report was written by Nicholas Schoon on behalf of BioRegional and The Association for the Conservation of Energy.

BioRegional ACE Retrofitting the Green Deal Report

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