At the beginning of March, we convened the first BusinessLDN Steering Group to explore how London can drive a retrofit revolution on owner/occupied homes in London. In partnership with McKinsey and Company, we will develop a targeted and concise action plan to overcome some of the most common hurdles preventing retrofit surges for homeowners in the capital.
With ever-increasing climate concerns, cost-of-living, and energy security crises, we urgently need an unprecedented scale of retrofits delivered through a coordinated long-term approach. Simply put, we cannot afford another failed attempt at a programme with unrealistic timescales and troubled implementation.
The steering group brings together industry experts from across the capital and beyond, including representatives from the property sectors, housing associations, engineering consultancies, professional and financial services but also key external stakeholders such as the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the Green Finance Institute, the Federation of Master Builders and the University of Oxford. We are confident this group will help shape recommendations and strengthen policy to create meaningful change.
During the roundtable discussion, the group took stock of the challenges and inherent difficulties faced by homeowners in the efforts to retrofit their homes, and we tried to identify their root causes. Insight from the group included the importance of policy interventions to drive demand and subsequently facilitate the supply chain. They also highlighted the emphasis on the public’s education on the topic of retrofits and a better articulation of what retrofit means and its associated benefits, and the significance of providing options depending on varying demographics. The role of local authorities was also brought up as a vital one to help drive solutions.
After a stimulating discussion, the group will reconvene to finalise their key recommendations. The next step will include undertaking opinion polling to ensure we speak to homeowners’ real concerns. We may be in the foothills, but we have a clear plan to amalgamate the survey findings with the group’s experience to bring about clear answers.
We aim to make this a collective advocacy effort and, by building on the progress that has already been achieved, use BusinessLDN’s unique convening power to move the dial a bit further and advocate the government for the fundamental changes that need to be introduced.
We appreciate that this is nothing short of an immense task. Despite this being a perennial issue, we are committed to bringing forward the much-needed change that will help London transition to an ultimately net zero city while supporting businesses and homeowners in their ambitions.