Industry backs CLC retrofit plan

National retrofit strategy could create 100,000 new jobs and save NHS £1.4bn

Cambridge University in retrofitting a 1930s telephone exchange to create the Entopia Building

A 20-year plan to improve the energy and carbon performance of homes has received widespread support from the engineering and construction sectors.

The Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) National Retrofit Strategy, aims to make the UK’s housing stock greener and more energy efficient, but depends on the government investing an initial £5.3bn over the next four years to stimulate the market for building retrofits.

The CLC believes that money could generate 100,000 new jobs, while also saving the NHS £1.4bn and reducing domestic energy bills by as much as £436 per household per annum.

‘Given our homes contribute 20% of the nation’s carbon emissions, it is essential that we start to retrofit them to make them more energy efficient,’ said Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the CLC Task Force. ‘Our strategy has been fully costed and offers a roadmap [showing] how the government can create a low carbon built environment by 2040.’

With 28 million homes needing to be retrofitted, the CLC said the government should treat this as a ‘national infrastructure project’ capable of targeting 20% of the country’s entire carbon footprint.

It added: ‘At a time of economic uncertainty and growing pressure to tackle climate change, the CLC’s National Retrofit Strategy offers a ready-made solution for the government to take forward and showcase to the world at COP26 [climate conference in Glasgow] in November.’