December 2014: GLA Directors have approved further funds for the Mayor’s public sector building retrofit programme RE:FIT. Directors’ Decision 1291 (DD1291) sets out that additional GLA funding is being directed to the programme to help ensure that its investment targets – as set by the EU funding programme ELENA, which provides the bulk of the funding to RE:FIT – can be met.
The DD states that RE:FIT’s Programme Development Unit (PDU) – which is managed by Turner & Townsend – “is funded until 31 March 2015 by a combination of ELENA and GLA funding (a total of £2.781 million – 85% from ELENA, 15% from the GLA). To date £2.537 million have been spent since September 2011. Under current arrangements, the PDU will be working at full capacity until the end of December 2014 and will be in closedown mode for the final three months.”
“A condition of the ELENA funding is that the GLA levers in at least 25 times the total sum invested –c£66 million – by the end of the term of the ELENA contract (currently 30 June 2015) but with an option to report on the leverage factor upon completion Turner & Townsend contract which is 20 September 2015. Under the terms of ELENA’s contract with the GLA, should this not be achieved, up to 70% of the funding provided by ELENA would need to be repaid. However, the GLA is currently on track to achieve the leverage factor by September, assuming that the entire current pipeline is converted and that new organisations continue to join the programme. From the existing pipeline alone, the projected weighted contract value is currently £77,885,518 by September 2015, with the PDU in place until 31 March 2015.”
“The weighted contract value of £77,885,518 has been calculated by applying a level of confidence/probability to the pipeline of projects (using a confidence level of between 50% and100% that projects will be converted) to reflect the risk of unexpected cancellations of RE:FIT projects that are currently in the pipeline. Until recently, this forecasting has proved accurate. However, projects can be put on hold/cancelled unexpectedly and has led to GLA officers producing a ‘worst case scenario’ forecast weighted contract value of £61,986,156″ ie below the ‘c£66m’ ELENA target mentioned above.
The DD reports an impressive pipeline of retrofit activity being driven by RE:FIT against the programme’s targets:
- To retrofit up to 600 buildings by 2015 (401 buildings achieved/in the process of)
- To generate savings of 45,000 tonnes of CO2 by 20152 (30,000 tonnes achieved).
- To retrofit 1.6 million m2 of public sector floor space by 2015, 6.3 million m² by 2020 and 11 million by 2025 (with a baseline in 2011 of 27.5 million m²) (1 million m2 achieved).
- To retrofit 100 GLA Group buildings by 2015 (86 achieved).
- To retrofit up to 200 schools by 2016 (81 schools achieved – with a pipeline of a further 249).
The remainder of the DD focuses on extending the PDU’s funding to September 2015 to ensure the investment target can be met. Further funding is to be secured by £2,500 to £3,000 charges applied to organisations seeking support from the PDU when signing an MoU with the team. The DD goes on to say that the bulk of the funding however will be found through a reallocation of funds from the Mayor’s home energy efficiency programme RE:NEW: “£150,000, is underspend from a previous phase of RE:NEW, which is now not required for that programme. Re-allocating this funding to RE:FIT will have no impact on the achievement of RE:NEW targets and KPIs.”
It’s positive to see that the DD also states that “Work is currently underway to consider a successor to RE:FIT following the end of the current programme. This could potentially be in place by the autumn of 2015. Early indications are that there is a compelling case for continued support to be provided to public sector organisations in the capital.”