A business consortium is calling for bold measures to encourage landlords and owner occupiers to retrofit their homes, with the introduction of a minimum EPC target by 2030.
BusinessLDN is a London-focussed consortium which claims that an ambitious retro-fitting programme including double-glazed windows and insulation could generate £110 billion for the capital’s economy and create more than 70,000 jobs.
Among the measures BusinessLDN is calling for, to meet the target of EPC B by 2030, are more dedicated resourcing and training for councils, adjustments to Stamp Duty based on EPC ratings and new ways of funding energy efficient home improvements reflecting homeowners’ circumstances, particularly during a cost of living crisis.
A spokesperson for the consortium says: “At a time when the capital is facing a cost-of-living squeeze, retrofitting can help Londoners cut their energy bills while also helping the environment and economy. Homeowners seeking to make their homes more energy efficient face a maze of complex process, confusing regulation and high upfront costs.
“That’s why we’re calling for a bold package of measures to encourage more homeowners to take the plunge, including a major awareness raising campaign, new financial incentives, as well as ensuring local authorities and the construction sector have access to the resources and talent that they need to deliver the retrofit revolution the capital needs.”
The 10-point action plan involves:
- A London-based retrofit awareness campaign led by the Greater London Authority and Energy Savings Trust to shift public perception so that homeowners can more easily understand the wide-ranging benefits that retrofitting offers including economic, health and comfort while helping to tackle climate change;
- Greater devolution of powers to London’s boroughs including more dedicated funding and training to streamline the retrofit process;
- A Stamp Duty that is adjusted based on the home’s EPC rating which can push homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements to their home within two years of purchase and in turn benefit from a stamp duty rebate;
- A simplified, streamlined grant programme that brings together existing ones and ultimately uses a home’s actual energy usage to determine the level of available funding. This would help homeowners better navigate the process;
- A ’building passport’ for all homes, which will help understand a home’s performance and how to improve it, collated in a pan-London green housing registry for easy comparison and data transparency;
- Tailored financing mechanisms for individuals using existing products such as green mortgages but also innovative financing methods, such as social enterprise lending options with the support of local authorities, for first movers;
- Bigger scaled financing solutions for whole communities to create the necessary scale for investors to direct their capital;
- An industry-funded recruitment campaign across London to attract diverse talent and close the skills gap in construction;
- Faster development of apprenticeship standards for retrofits covering new legislation, technical expertise and a sustainability mindset;
- Established and accredited retrofit ‘one-stop shop’, making it easier for homeowners to seek expert guidance along any stage of the retrofitting process.