Retrofitting the UK housing stock is important if we wish to achieve our target of an 80 per cent reduction in the level of CO2 emissions by 2050.
This paper is intended to review existing models and solutions gauging their benefits and potential flaws. By looking at the bigger picture it is hoped that this paper will generate debate within the industry, ultimately leading to the formation of new ideas and innovative models that will deliver the housing stock of the future.
David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, suggests that: “At least 60 per cent of the houses we’ll be living in by 2050 have already been built. So it is critical that we look at ways to dramatically improve the performance of our existing housing stock. ‘Retrofit for the Future’ provides the testbeds we need to ensure the development of long term, mass solutions.”
Current measures of housing stock performance
For retrofitting costs and benefits to be calculated in an accurate manner a reliable form of efficiency measurement is required. Currently such activities are undertaken as part of the Home Information Pack requirements (HIPs). For further details regarding HIPs and the subsequent Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) please see appendix A.
Given the review undertaken in this paper ACE suggests that further exploratory work could be undertaken in the following areas, with the possibility of implementing a range of measures to encourage retrofitting activity:
Local authorities should be encouraged to engage in retrofitting schemes, providing services that will allow for lower negotiated prices and improved efficiency.
Improving and refining existing regulations regarding efficiency, building and energy consumption standards is an effective way of encouraging investment in socially beneficial technologies during any retrofitting work.
We would urge that such schemes are monitored to ensure that their effectiveness and a continuing effort to ensure that alternative methods of funding be considered.
Technological improvements will have a significant role to play in energy efficiency, and in the creation of smarter green homes. For this reason it is important that both existing and new installations encourage the purchase of the most efficient products.
Accurate monitoring of energy usage should play a key role in any retrofitting regime, for this reason ACE would like to see the government speed up the installation of smart metering.
The exploration of a variety of Insurance lead options, including the possibility of schemes/policies that could cover the ‘gap’ in funding for newer energy efficient technologies in the event of damage to a property.