Cutting London’s energy emissions

London produces over 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year – adding to the threat posed by climate change, bringing with it the promise of more extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and overheating. The London Development Agency is leading programmes that will cut carbon dioxide emissions from London’s buildings, which are responsible for almost four out of every five tons of its CO2 emissions1.
Our RE:NEW scheme to retrofit homes to cut their carbon emissions and save on their energy bills has been developed with London’s boroughs and could reach up to 1.2 million homes by 2015. This scheme uses a delivery model that enables local authorities to install energy efficiency measures in homes and to lever in additional funding. Our RE:FIT scheme introduces energy efficiency measures into London’s large stock of public sector buildings – creating a cost neutral means of reducing energy bills and the carbon footprint of buildings.
Both these schemes have been designed in partnership with London’s boroughs and other partners and are being rolled out ‘at scale’ across the capital.

While there is already a lot of work going on in London to improve the energy efficiency of homes, it is frequently confusing for customers, not cost effective and not scalable enough to reach the ambitious reduction targets. In partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA), London Councils, the Energy Saving Trust, Waterwise and the 33 London Boroughs, the LDA has developed and is rolling out a programme to retrofit energy and water efficiency measures in London’s homes.
RE:NEW takes an area-based, whole house approach that covers all types of housing tenures and has something to offer every household. It includes offering a range of free-of-charge, easy-to-do measures, from changing to low energy light bulbs to installing stand-by switches and giving energy saving advice. Water-saving measures such as aerated showerheads and advice on climate change adaptation are also offered, which ensures it is a holistic service.
It also provides more substantial steps such as loft and cavity wall insulation – free for those on qualifying benefits and subsidised for those able to pay. In the future, with the development of new financing mechanisms such as Pay As You Save, solid wall insulation and micro-renewables will be offered to the householders at no upfront cost.
RE:NEW works by levering in additional funding to pay for the measures such as Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) funding from energy companies and Warm Front funding from central government. A typical London borough delivering RE:NEW to 6,000 homes over two years could attract a further £1 million, save 4,200 tonnes of CO2 and reduce fuel poverty.
The results so far from our trials and demonstration projects are encouraging. Over 800 homes received improvements through our technical trials, saving around 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Our demonstration projects in nine boroughs across London will have treated nearly 10,000 homes by the end of April 2010. The next stage will see RE:NEW active in every London Borough from summer 2010 and reach around 200,000 homes by 2012.
RE:NEW places London’s local authorities at the centre of delivery as they are already implementing aspects of the Household Energy Management Strategy. For example RE:NEW builds on the strategic relationships between energy companies and local authorities and is a local, area-based programme.

Public sector buildings across London have the potential to make high CO2 savings. The London Development Agency, in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA), Transport for London, Metropolitan Police Authority and London Fire Brigade, and the Clinton Climate Initiative2, has developed RE:FIT – a cost neutral way for organisations to reduce their energy bills and the carbon footprint of their buildings.
This works by appointing an energy service company (ESCo) to install energy efficiency measures in a building and to guarantee a set level of energy savings. This offers a financial saving over a period of years and transfers the risk of not reaching the potential energy savings onto the ESCo, rather than the owner or occupier of the building.
In the initial pilot phase, 42 buildings were improved and achieved CO2 reductions between 19-42 per cent – with an average saving of 28 per cent. This equates to just over 6,000 tonnes from 42 buildings and £1 million each and every year in energy bill savings.
Unlike traditional public building improvement programmes, a whole group of buildings are offered up for retrofitting in one go, allowing energy services companies to achieve economies of scale. This also allows for more long-term infrastructure investment to be off-set by savings from cheaper, quicker measures.
Central to RE:FIT has been the appointment of a framework panel of approved energy services companies with pre-agreed contracts and defined deliverables. This helps public sector organisations to avoid lengthy and complex procurement processes. It has also been designed so that RE:FIT can be rolled-out across the public sector nationally and could then modified to work within the private sector.
It is a clear win-win scheme, with the framework panel in London to be opened for use by local authorities across the country.

1 Buildings are responsible for 78 per cent of London’s CO2 emissions.
2 The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) brings together the world’s most significant cities (C40) to tackle climate change.

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