Numerous studies and policy documents highlight the importance of housing retrofit if we are to reach our net zero carbon targets. Compared with where it needs to get to, the market for retrofit remains tiny.
A new report by the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions and the Federation of Master Builders sets out the many reasons why this market fails to take off. Builders are influential over consumer decisions when it comes to home repairs and improvements, and they have good reasons for sticking to tried and tested products and methods. Retrofit requires something more innovative, but there is no significant demand among consumers. The builders cannot create a market on their own.
There is no simple policy ‘fix’ for housing retrofit. A joined-up, cross-sectoral approach is needed with several key features:
- a commitment to creating a long-term market;
- developing finance mechanisms to leverage private investment;
- improved quality and competence based on a licence to trade;
- space and funding to trial innovative approaches in the real world.
Please note that this is a hybrid event. You will need to register and choose whether you wish to attend in person or online. Please register here: Energy seminar registration
Energy Group, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
Gavin Killip is interested in finding solutions for a more sustainable built environment. He joined the University of Oxford at ECI in 2004 after working for 10 years on energy efficiency and building-integrated renewable energy projects in the voluntary and public sectors.
He takes a broad ‘socio-technical systems’ approach to investigating how technology and behaviour evolve and affect each other, with the ultimate goal of proposing positive change by understanding better the workings of complex systems.
Most of his research focus has been on existing housing in the context of climate change mitigation – investigating the possibility of market transformation for the construction industry providing repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) services. He is interested in governance, education and the role of institutions in support of sustainable development.
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