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Featured Insights.

Read our latest thinking on issues that matter most in retrofit

Retrofitting London's Owner Occupier Homes
A 10 Point Action Plan

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Hestia have worked with BusinessLDN to publish a 10-point Retrofit Action Plan. Truly a landmark piece of work - aligning industry behind the Mayor's target of EPC B on all London homes by 2030, with support to homeowners, tenants, and the supply chain to make that a reality. It's an ambitious target - but that's the whole point. We at Hestia were privileged to act as lead expert, working alongside a terrific team of industry partners. Retrofit is the right thing to do - making people warmer and healthier across the capital's nearly 4mn homes, and cutting 1/3 of our carbon emissions. It's also the profitable thing to do - decarbonising London's homes would create a £110bn market and 70k jobs. We need more carrots AND sticks. We call for greater support - across public awareness, regulation and standards, financing, and supply chain. We also call for greater enforcement - including a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) of EPC B across all London properties by 2030, while working toward a more accurate long-term system than EPC. London rises to the challenge – and nothing is more urgent, or more worthwhile, than helping people live healthier, happier lives in their built environment.

No Policy? No (huge) problem
Thoughts on the UK's net zero rollback

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Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will roll back its net-zero housing commitments. Next week is retrofit action week. What timing. Why it’s so disappointing: 1. We are scrapping policies that work. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) was introduced in 2015, pushing landlords to upgrade the coldest, mouldiest homes. Rentals with the poorest energy ratings fell by 95%. And what’s more? Housing availability wasn't sacrificed; rental stock actually grew by 1.37x over the same period 2. Poorer households will be worse off. Requiring landlords to upgrade to EPC C would save tenants money – £1.75 billion a year according to E3G 3. The UK will lose out. We estimate a potential £500 billion+ retrofit market for the UK. The Construction Leadership Council estimates retrofit could create 500k jobs in the UK. This is at risk without supportive policy. Germany, France, and the US are tightening their rules - and building energy efficiency champions as a result So, where to from here? 1. More carrot, less stick. Government is signalling it wants to work through subsidy, not standards – adding £2.5k per household to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, while scrapping higher MEES rules. We need to raise the bar on the proposition, rather than just relying on EPC minimums to do the work 2. Make the pitch. Damp and cold are awful. Retrofit makes people’s lives better, saves them money, and adds to their property value. It should be a slam dunk – but we haven’t sold it well. Now’s the time to sharpen our pencils and sell this properly… 3. Sustainable housing should be a government priority. But even if it isn’t, we can – and must – make retrofit work. Challenge accepted...

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