Local authorities in London have agreed a plan to achieve net zero by retrofitting 3.8 million homes in the capital.
London Councils, which represents local authorities in the capital, said all 33 councils, including the City of London, have signed up to the scheme
Councils have committed to upgrading all their housing stock to an average energy performance rating of EPC B by 2030 to drive a “dramatic decarbonisation of London property”
The cost of achieving net zero in London by 2030 will be around £98bn, London Councils estimated. However, it said it will support 200,000 jobs, boosting London’s post-pandemic economy.
A London Councils spokesperson said the plan relies on “targeted government investment, facilitating new private financing opportunities and encouraging funding by landlords and individual households.”
The plan, known as the Retrofit London Housing Action Plan, sets out agreed actions for local authorities.
Boroughs would need to retrofit their own stock of 390,000 council homes and help to facilitate retrofit on the whole housing stock across London’s 3.8 million homes.
Planning decisions and guidance “should support low-carbon retrofit activity”, the plan says, while boroughs should work in “collectively” to develop skills and procurement models “that can build capacity within the sector and engage with residents to support retrofit.”
The plan says hydrogen heating is unlikely to be the answer but recognises a need to move away rapidly from gas heating.
The plan comes ahead of the expected announcement the government’s long-awaited Heat and Buildngs strategy this week, which is expected to set out plans to decarbonise the UK built environment.
In advance of next week’s spending review and Budget, London Councils is calling on the government to announce £30m of funding for the next phase of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission work, to deliver the £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the £2.5bn Home Upgrade Grant.
It also wants to see financial incentives to encourage private retrofitting, such as green mortgages offering lower rates and a variable Stamp Duty Land Tax for more energy-efficient homes.
Philip Glanville, mayor of Hackney and chair of London Council’s transport and environment committee, said “As we approach the spending review and COP26, the government should seize the day and boost local funding for this important work, which is integral to the UK’s ability to make net zero happen.”