Mayor’s retrofitting scheme to lower London’s energy bills

Boris_JohnsonThe Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has launched a tool for public sector organisations that has the capacity to deliver up to £1.6 billion of home energy upgrades and improvements, meaning warmer homes and lower energy bills for Londoners.

RE:NEW, the Mayor’s energy efficiency retrofitting programme for homes, has set up a framework of 11 specialist suppliers that will provide retrofit solutions to public sector landlords such as London boroughs, housing associations, and universities. Housing providers need to fund the works themselves for example through planned maintenance programmes, subsidies or borrowing.

At a time when social landlords are facing up to the need to make efficiencies in their operating costs, this panel will make the process of retrofitting streamlined. Making London’s homes more energy efficient delivers direct cost savings to their tenants, who are predominantly on low incomes.

Retrofitting can include low carbon technologies such as LED lighting, new and upgraded boilers, insulation, solar panels, and double glazing. The Mayor has already helped to save tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon a year in London’s homes, equivalent to taking around 27,000 cars off the road.

The 11 suppliers, all experts in energy efficiency and retrofitting, are now part of the largest framework of its kind in the UK. The framework is available for the next four years and will help public sector organisations to save time and money by avoiding lengthy procurement processes.

Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, Richard Blakeway, said: “With social landlords facing pressures to make efficiencies on their operating costs, we want to support partners to continue to prioritise energy saving programmes – reducing the energy bills of occupiers and cutting carbon emissions.

“By establishing the framework, we are able to speed up the delivery of domestic retrofitting and I encourage public sector organisations to get on board and use the support available.”

London-based organisations will additionally benefit from free help from the RE:NEW Support Team, provided by Capita, which as part of its wide ranging services, is available to support organisations using the framework thanks to funding from the European Investment Bank ELENA programme and the Mayor of London.

Richard McCarthy, Executive Director, central Government, at Capita’s property and infrastructure business, said: “RE:NEW is the largest and most ambitious programme to enable retrofitting in the UK. To support its goal of making London a cleaner and more efficient city the RE:NEW programme has designed a highly flexible framework that simplifies and streamlines procurement.

“The RE:NEW Support Team is already working with 44 organisations across London to help make it easier for them to develop and procure retrofitting projects, improve the housing stock across the capital, and cut fuel bills in the long term.”

Examples of projects supported by RE:NEW include a £7 million project in Hackney to create a communal gas heating network, replacing expensive individual electric heating in more than 800 homes across 10 blocks of social housing. This has reduced energy bills by 56 per cent with average annual personal savings of £980 for over 1,500 tenants.

In addition, a project in Wandsworth is installing solar panels on five Council-owned sheltered housing sites and blocks of flats. This will reduce energy bills for tenants, cut carbon dioxide emissions and deliver financial benefits from the electricity savings which are expected to exceed £19,000 per year, ensuring the project will pay for itself twice over.

Since it was established in 2009, RE:NEW has helped to improve over 111,500 London homes, saving around 30,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Coupled with wider market delivery, over 500,000 homes in London have already been retrofitted.

To improve energy efficiency in non-residential public sector buildings, the Mayor introduced his award-winning RE:FIT programme. More than 460 buildings have been retrofitted under this scheme, saving 33,000 tonnes of carbon a year, and saving the public sector over £5million a year. This is the equivalent to taking over 29,000 cars off the roads of London.