The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has entered a major new phase of Accelerator Cities, a project which brings together some of the most ambitious local and combined authorities and other expert stakeholders to drive action to upgrade the UK’s energy-hungry housing stock.
With calls for a ‘green recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic rocketing up the agenda, the need for investment in energy efficient homes is becoming ever clearer. If the UK wants to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, almost all of the country’s 29 million homes need to be improved, meaning 1.8 homes need to be retrofitted every minute between now and 2050.
Primarily funded by EIT Climate-KIC, Accelerator Cities supports towns and cities in developing their own home retrofit programmes; helps coordinate action between them—including sharing best practices, lessons learned, evidence and resources; supports a coordinated approach in respect of links to financial institutions and funding opportunities; encourages greater partnership between industry and NGO groups on home retrofit; and helps to coordinate cities’ engagement with central government on this topic.
Boosting the rate of home retrofits will provide crucial support for health and well-being, accelerate the transition to net-zero and create jobs in all parts of the country.
To help achieve this, UKGBC has brought together city and combined authority partners: Birmingham City Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Greater London Authority, Leeds City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. A range of other expert stakeholders are also on board including the Active Building Centre, Bioregional, Energy Saving Trust, Green Alliance, Otley Energy, Places in Common, RetrofitWorks and UK100.
John Alker, Director of Policy & Places at UKGBC said: “There is a critical need to improve the nation’s health, reduce carbon emissions and create long-lasting economic benefits. Home retrofit is a triple-win that supports all three goals. Although central Government still holds many of the keys to unlocking this, cities and local authorities are stepping up to play a crucial leadership role. Accelerator Cities is all about supporting and enabling greater coordination between local government on home retrofit. The project will help city and local authorities as they grapple with issues such as householder engagement, skills and finance—helping to build an evidence base, learn lessons and share common approaches.”