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Big names back retrofit projects finance initiative

Ty pawb 2
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A new body for financing retrofit projects has been put together, with Engie and Legal & General (L&G) among its members

According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) will seek efficient means to encourage investment in making the UK’s buildings more energy efficient.

Other members include developers, such as L&G and Engie, energy companies such as E.On, private bank Coutts, as well as local and national government bodies, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Transport for London (TfL).

Members of the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings

  • Abundance Investment
  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • BNP Paribas
  • Building Society Association (BSA)
  • Carbon Trust
  • CMS Law
  • Coutts
  • E.On
  • E3G (Secretariat)
  • Ecology Building Society
  • Energiesprong UK
  • Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group (EEIG)
  • Energy Systems Catapult
  • Engie
  • Eversheds Sutherland
  • Green Deal Finance Company
  • Green Finance Institute (chair)
  • Leeds City Council
  • Legal & General
  • Loan Markets Association (LMA)
  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
  • Monmouthshire Building Society
  • Nottingham City Homes
  • Phoenix Group
  • Reading University
  • Residential Landlords Association
  • RICS
  • Sero Homes
  • Transport for London (TfL)
  • TrustMark
  • UK Finance
  • UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)
  • UK Regulated Covered Bond Council
  • Welsh Government

The body was set up by the Green Finance Institute, an organisation created by seed funding from HM Treasury, BEIS and the City of London Corporation earlier in 2019.

The CEEB will first carry out a review of the residential retrofit market in the UK, to pinpoint the barriers the country needs to overcome to upgrade its housing stock.

This research will be done via three working groups, covering owner-occupied, social-rented and private-rented housing, and will be published in spring 2020. The review will also aim to identify key proponents of retrofit across the construction supply chain.

Then, before the end of 2020, the CEEB will develop and launch new financial solutions for retrofitting projects, such as green loans or green leases, which involve an agreement about how a building is operated or managed in a sustainable way.

The aim is also to build on previous ventures, such as the government’s Green Deal, which gave homeowners, landlords and tenants the opportunity to pay for energy-efficient home improvements through savings on energy bills, but was ultimately shelved in 2015.

’We’re looking to mobilise private and public capital towards retrofitting homes to low-carbon and climate-resilient standards,’ Green Finance director Emma Harvey told Construction News.

’There’s a growing recognition that climate and green finance is important in terms of managing risks.

‘There are physical risks from property assets becoming stranded due to the changing climate, but there are also commercial opportunities from providing financing that allows homeowners and landlords to retrofit their properties.’

Legal & General corporate affairs director John Godfrey suggested that ‘real estate asset values will become increasingly correlated with climate risk’.

He added that it highlights “both the urgent need to improve our building stock and future-proof balance sheets and the opportunity for the financial services sector to work with homeowners, tenants and landlords on improving the climate impact of our housing stock”.

Another member of the CEEB, UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) chief executive Julie Hirigoyen, welcomed the formation of the coalition, saying: ’There are 29million homes in the UK, which must be made low-carbon, low-energy and resilient to our changing climate.

’Decarbonising and adapting the UK’s housing stock is critical for meeting the net-zero emissions targets and tackling the impacts of climate change.’

In November, the National Federation of Builders called for a new ‘Ministry of Carbon’ to tackle the climate crisis, and recommended that contractors and suppliers ’understand, record and publish’ their own carbon footprint, both across the business and on a project-by-project basis.

In February 2019, the Committee on Climate Change published a report that highlighted that emissions reductions from the UK’s 29 million homes have stalled and that efforts to adapt the country’s housing stock to climate change were lagging behind.

The AJ’s own reuse drive – the RetroFirst campaign – was launched at the AJ’s annual Retrofit Awards in September and calls for government action to encourage more retrofits and refurbishments in three key areas: tax, procurement and policy.

RetroFirst Logos 2019 2

RetroFirst Logos 2019 2

How you can get involved

Follow the progress of RetroFirst using #RetroFirst on social media
Contact us at retrofirst@emap.com to back the campaign

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • This could be an exciting catalyst alongside the current party policies for accelerating the refurbishment of existing stock.

    I hope that when they peer review the Green Deal's efficacy, that CEEB learn from previous state-funded models on the continent that were significantly more financially supportive. I understand that the Green Deal was targeting more homes than on the continent, with less support and higher interest rates.

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