Greening the built environment is one of the biggest economic, social and environmental opportunities for the UK over the next three decades. It will create jobs, stimulate economic growth, reduce fuel poverty, improve health and wellbeing, not to mention helping to eliminate the 40% of UK greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by the built environment sector (UK Green Building Council).

B4NZ recommends that Government should roll out an ambitious programme of deep retrofits in the social housing sector, bring forward implementation of the Future Homes Standard and Future Buildings Standard, and set out a clear pathway for how energy efficiency standards that will ratchet up all the way to net zero compliant over the next 20-30 years

In order to turn these recommendations into action, B4NZ are currently working on two live projects:

1. EPC Policy Campaign

B4NZ launched a campaign to challenge EPCs with the aim of ensuring that their reform becomes a priority in the political agenda as existing metrics do not effectively encourage the adoption of energy-efficient practices and heating solutions necessary to contribute to the decarbonisation of buildings.

Our campaign officially commenced with a kick-off meeting in October 2023, which brought policymakers, regulators, leading organisations, and financial institutions to share knowledge and begin to work together towards the common goal of accelerating EPC reform. The workstream will continue to explore innovative technologies and solutions to improve energy performance in buildings and examine how EPC ratings can be made fit for purpose to deliver on the UK’s Net Zero targets.

Alongside strong Government engagement and industry collaboration, we will produce a report that will be published in late 2024. Further political advocacy will continue throughout 2024 and 2025.

2. National Retrofit Hub Finance Working Group

B4NZ are co-convening Finance working group for the newly formed National Retrofit Hub with our partners at the Green Finance Institute and LSE Grantham Institute. The National Retrofit Hub is an industry and UK Government backed initiative to enable the delivery of retrofit at scale across the UK. This working group works to define and implement solutions to retrofit financing processes across the domestic property market.

The group was launched in July 2023 with its first sessions bringing together lenders, local authorities, delivery partners and the wider ecosystem to begin exploring the barriers and enablers for financing retrofit at scale and to identify opportunity for collaboration to drive positive change.