The nature of the challenge
Our homes consume about 30% of the UK’s energy and produce 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. 80% of that energy is for space and hot water heating, mostly from gas.
In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. This will require the UK to bring all greenhouse emissions to net-zero by 2050. With this net-zero target for UK carbon emissions, it is vital we cut the energy required for domestic space and hot-water heating to a minimum and use only zero-carbon sources.
The UK housing stock is old and inefficient, and the replacement rate is low. 80% of the homes we will use in 2050 already exist.
We, therefore, must upgrade our existing housing stock to be much more energy-efficient. This means improving the fabric of the buildings, to transform the existing housing stock into homes fit for the future.
Homes fit for the future are homes that are:
- Low carbon
- Resilient to climate change
- Attractive and desirable places to live
- Adaptable to the changing needs of society
To upgrade 27 million homes by 2050, we need to deliver retrofits in volume, quickly and cost-effectively and to ensure that any upgrades installed will need very few, if any, improvements in the future.
Barriers of today
On 26 February 2019, over 120 stakeholders attended our event Homes fit for the future – accelerating the deep retrofit market at the Urban Innovation Centre in Clerkenwell to debate how we can upgrade our housing stock to tackle the challenge of climate change and meet the future needs of our citizens.
This was a joint event organised by Connected Places Catapult, Innovate UK and The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). It took, as its starting point, a report published in November 2018 by the IET and Nottingham Trent University – “Scaling Up Retrofit 2050”.
A strong theme which emerged from the event was the need to:
- Develop a national retrofit programme; initially focused on social housing.
- Reduce costs and build supply chain capacity through pilot projects and demonstrators.
- Make the benefits of deep retrofit clearer to housing providers and householders.
- Encourage investment through innovative finance.
A summary of the findings from the event can be found here.
Findings from this event led to Connected Places Catapult kickstarting this Housing Deep Retrofit Project. Its aim is to convene industry and government stakeholders to create a joint government/industry blueprint for deep retrofit as recommended from the event that captures a coherent story that is understood by all the key stakeholders, to support the development of a roadmap that meets the 2050 zero-carbon targets.
Our Housing Innovation Week convened partners from across the housing ecosystem to foster collaborative innovation opportunities to contribute towards homes which are designed, built and maintained to meet the needs of the generations to come. The deep retrofit workshop presentation can be found here.
Would you like to contribute to our research?
Connected Places Catapult will be working with other partners and stakeholder groups to further explore the needs and opportunities with regards to bridging the gap between demand and supplier to scaling deep retrofit. To contribute your own thoughts and to find out what role you can play please email info-LDN@cp.catapult.org.uk.