Making the case for a retrofit revolution – our recent political engagement

21 October 2020

Back in the summer, we called on the government to build back better: to draw up a coronavirus recovery plan that prioritised investment in green projects and green infrastructure. In particular, we called for a recovery plan that would help deliver greener homes and communities.

We wrote to the Prime Minister as part of a wider coalition including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth calling for the government to kick start a retrofit revolution, led by the social housing sector.

The Prime Minister has now responded, acknowledging the important role that decarbonising housing will play in delivering a net zero economy. He has set out the key actions that the government has taken, and plans to take, to tackle fuel poverty and support retrofitting. We welcome the tone of this letter, and the various commitments – however, we know that more action and more investment will be needed if the sector is to decarbonise by 2050, and we will continue our work making the case for this.

Our submission to the government's forthcoming spending review sets out the actions we want to see to deliver a retrofit revolution. This includes publication of a policy roadmap, providing clarity and certainty on standards and milestones for the sector, and delivery of the Conservative Manifesto commitment of a £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

Our submission also highlights the sector’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis and our readiness to work in partnership with the government and other stakeholders to find solutions to the challenges we will face in retrofitting at scale and pace. We’ve outlined these challenges in our recent research on barriers to retrofitting.

In recent weeks we have discussed our spending review submission, and the critical role of housing associations in helping the government achieve their net zero target, in a roundtable with Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth. The Minister has subsequently agreed to speak at our Board Excellence Conference on 27 January 2021.

Alongside this, we have continued a programme of parliamentary engagement, including a meeting with the Shadow Minister for Energy to talk through the challenges faced by the sector on decarbonisation and preparing a response to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee’s inquiry into decarbonising heat in homes.

For more information, or to feed into the response to the select committee inquiry, please contact us.