Mission Retrofit also recommends the introduction of a new parliamentary bill aimed at facilitating the achievement of net zero status in buildings. According to a recent report, the establishment of a national retrofit delivery agency plays a crucial role in supervising building upgrades and the transformation of structures into net zero entities.
This report, co-authored by MP Chris Skidmore and Simon McWhirter, the deputy chief executive of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), underscores the necessity of establishing an independent national body to ensure that the government attains its targets for retrofitting and insulation.
The proposed agency would bear the responsibility of defining and executing carbon emission reduction goals for 2030 and 2035, along with formulating strategies to install 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028. The report emphasises that this agency should uphold and manage quality standards, coordinate workforce training, enforce standards, and promote best practices.
Moreover, the report recommends that the agency, which would take the lead in implementing a national retrofit plan, should comprise all relevant industry organizations and could potentially evolve from the expansion of the existing non-profit group, the National Retrofit Hub.
National retrofit bill could see huge acceptance
In addition to this, the report titled “Mission Retrofit” advocates the introduction of a National Retrofit Bill designed to reform standards, including Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and net zero performance certificates, with the goal of enhancing trust in the retrofit industry.
The report highlights several significant challenges in the efforts to reduce carbon emissions in residential properties. These challenges include the low rates of home insulation and energy efficiency ratings in privately rented sector properties.
The report, published by Skidmore’s Mission Zero Coalition of green businesses, comes in the wake of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent announcement of revisions to the government’s net zero policies.
Relaxation on privately rented sector could harm EPC improvements
Among these changes, one notable adjustment is the removal of the requirement for privately rented properties to achieve an EPC rating of C or higher by 2025, along with the postponement of the ban on new gas boilers from 2026 to 2035.
Furthermore, the government has discontinued the Energy Efficiency Taskforce, established only six months ago, which aimed to reduce total UK energy demand by 15% from 2021 levels by 2030 across homes, commercial buildings, and industrial processes. Government data from 2022 reveals that 91% of the 8.5 million UK properties with solid walls lack insulation, and 33% of the 25.5 million houses with lofts remain uninsulated.