LABC welcomes National Retrofit Strategy
LABC has welcomed the Construction Leadership Council’s report ‘Greening Our Existing Homes’ which calls for a national retrofit strategy for the UK’s 28 million homes. Council members have signed an open letter to Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, urging the Government to incorporate the recommendations of the CLC’s National Retrofit Strategy into the Government’s forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy.
The retrofit strategy would be delivered in partnership between the industry, government and others and would help deliver the government’s target of a 78% emissions reduction by 2035 and net zero by 2050. Currently, UK homes use 35% of energy produced and emit 20% of CO2 emissions.
The strategy calls for significant investment from government and industry including various incentives for householders to retrofit their properties to bring them up to appropriate standards – this includes reduced VAT for home improvements, along with rebates, loans and grants. If adopted the strategy would see half a million new jobs in construction with new training and accreditation to ensure and improve competence and quality of work.
The strategy is supported by LABC’s partner the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) among many other industry bodies.
Anna Thompson, LABC’s Head of Engagement, who is also a Non-Executive Director of NHIC, said “we strongly welcome this strategy as the best way to bring our homes up to standard. It addresses many of the weaknesses of previous schemes and firmly puts the focus on the industry to improve competence, quality and standards. Public service building control is ready to support the drive for low carbon homes, helping homeowners to make the right choices and making sure home improvements meet regulations and standards.”
LABC recently launched a new consumer focussed home improvement website – Front Door – which has lots of advice and information on home improvement and retrofit including ways to decarbonise and cut energy costs.
Anna concluded, “There are many pitfalls to avoid when improving your home and Front Door is a vital source of help and advice – from choosing competent contractors, materials to use and ways to meet the building regulations. With the focus rightly on decarbonising housing we must make sure we get improvements right first time as we have a massive task in front of us. LABC, Front Door and our network of 3700 public service building control professionals up and down the country are ideally placed to help.”