Mass-retrofitting of a low carbon zone

June 2012 A very detailed piece of analysis undertaken by researchers at Edinburgh University (and published in the June issue of academic journal Energy Policy) which studies the work being undertaken in Sutton on adopting an area wide retrofit scheme in Hackbridge.

The conclusions highlight some really interesting findings relating to Hackbridge  which are also very relevant to other areas of London. These include:

  • housing built pre-1918 on average consumes 56% more energy and emits 41% more CO2 than houses built post-2001;
  • the older housing stock is the worst performer in terms of energy efficiency; the most laborious and costly to improve;
  • within the regeneration footprint, this type of housing makes up less than 20% of the housing stock. Nearly 40% of the housing stock having been built post-1970 is already benefitting from many of the measures proposed to save energy and reduce carbon emissions;
  • almost one third of Hackbridge residents live in areas which rank within the top 25% most income-deprived in England, renting their homes from the Local Authority, Registered Social Landlords, Housing Associations or the private-rented sector. Homes in the social-rented sector that have been shown to consume less energy and to emit less CO2 than other housing types of a similar age in Hackbridge. Indeed, using the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure for the energy rating of dwellings (SAP), the local authority housing in question is shown to out-perform the national average ratings across all dwelling types.

The study also includes: “…while policy analysis over the past decade has done much to highlight the potential contribution mass retrofits in the housing sector can make to reduce the rates of energy consumption and levels of carbon emissions, they also serve to illustrate how little is currently known about the institutional arrangements towns and cities are currently putting in place as integrated solutions to the problems climate change pose.

Unusually for Energy Policy, the article full downloadable free of charge here.

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One Response to Mass-retrofitting of a low carbon zone

  1. Matt Cody says:

    I disagree to some extent with the comment about the older housing stock being the most laborious and costly to improve in terms of energy efficiency. Retrofitting domestic voltage optimimsation devices is a quick, easy and low-cost solution that can result in immediate benefits – AND is suitable for virtually all properties.

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