13th August 2010
A pioneering £3 million project is now underway to design a supply chain solution to improve the energy efficiency of the vast majority of the 26 million UK homes which will still be in use by 2050.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a public private partnership tasked with developing ‘mass-scale’ technologies that will help the UK meet its 2050 carbon reduction targets, is beginning a two-year project to identify ways in which the refurbishment and retrofitting of existing residential properties can be accelerated by industrialising the processes of design, supply and implementation, while stimulating demand from householders by exploiting additional opportunities that come with extensive building refurbishment.
The consortium, which has extensive experience of housing, supply chain re-engineering and refurbishment, will be led by BRE (Building Research Establishment), in collaboration with EDF Energy, Peabody, PRP, Total Flow, UCL and Wates.
The UK Government sees retrofitting existing homes as a key tool to achieving its 80% CO2 emissions reduction goal for 2050, with housing the single biggest contributor to the nation’s CO2 emissions. However, the challenge is huge, with the Department of Energy and Climate Change proposing that we need to be delivering a comprehensive package of measures at a rate of 1.8 million per year by 2020 in order to get the entire housing stock operating more efficiently by 2030 in order to meet our targets. That’s nearly a city the size of Cambridge each and every week.
The project will develop a top to bottom process: from a method of analysing the most cost-effective package of measures suitable for a particular property, through to how these will be installed with the minimum disruption to the householder. This includes identifying the skills required of the people on the ground as well as the optimum material distribution networks to supply them with exactly what is required and when. A key factor is to ensure predictable results in terms of increased comfort, reduced energy bills and increased asset value of the house, while also delivering value to the companies involved in the supply chain. The methods of analysing these complex interactions are what the team will be bringing from other high volume industrial sectors. The project will also deliver a model capable of running scenarios at a local, regional and national level to identify CO2 impact and cost of various mass retrofit plans. This information can then be used by local authorities and a large portfolio of owners who are vital stakeholders in delivering this transformation at a national level.
Dr David Clarke, the ETI’s CEO said: "Twenty four per cent of today’s CO2 emissions in the UK are linked to energy use in domestic properties. Refurbishing these houses with energy efficiency measures is key to ensuring the delivery of affordable and sustainable energy to domestic and business consumers. Persuading consumers to take-up refurbishment and technology retro-fit opportunities requires us to address the challenge of creating supply-chains and delivery routes which consumers trust and which they consider affordable. With the majority of today’s 26 million dwellings expected to still be in use by 2050, the outputs from this ambitious project are absolutely critical to understanding how we can help meet the CO2 reduction targets as set out in the Climate Change Act."
The Government’s Chief Construction Adviser Paul Morrell, from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, who welcomed the launch of the initiative, said: "It would be easy to be daunted by the challenge of having to treat 26 million homes for improved energy efficiency by 2050 – 12,500 a week, every week, even if we take the full 40 years. This is way beyond the scale of anything attempted before, and it calls for a response from the industry that addresses that scale whist acknowledging that, to its occupier, every home is uniquely valuable. Getting things right, in terms of what we do and how we do it, is critical, and this research project will make an essential contribution to making sure that we do get it right."
The project complements the ETI’s Micro Distributed Energy scoping and feasibility study to identify opportunities for microgeneration, in addition to the ETI’s Macro Distributed Energy project to study energy demand and supply profiles for major sites. The new project also supports the Committee on Climate Change’s recent recommendation that the UK should focus on the development and deployment of a range of key technologies, including smart grids and meters.
Notes to Editors:
For further information, please call Richard Robinson on 01509 202026 or Nigel Richardson on 01509 202084.
The Department of Climate Change’s Heat Strategy Consultation in 2009 proposed giving a “comprehensive package of measures” to all 26 million homes by 2030, retrofitting 400,000 homes a year by 2015 and 1.8 million homes a year by 2020.
From “Building a low-carbon economy – the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change” (Committee on Climate Change, 2008, 156MTCO2e of 623MTCO2e total.)
- The Energy Technologies Institute is a UK-based private company formed from global industries and the UK Government. The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power, transport and the supporting infrastructure. The Energy Technologies Institute aims to develop projects that develop and demonstrate affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power, transport and the supporting infrastructure. This will accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing commercial investor confidence in deployment of a range of low carbon solutions. This will also increase the security of energy supplies.
- The ETI’s six private sector members are BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. The UK Government has also committed to match support from four further private sector Members and is engaged directly in the ETI’s strategy and programme development through its partner organisations, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The ETI’s public funds are received from BIS through the Technology Strategy Board and EPSRC.
- The ETI will accelerate the deployment of affordable, secure low-carbon energy systems from 2020 to 2050 by demonstrating technologies, developing knowledge, skills and supply-chains and informing the development of regulation, standards and policy. For more information, please go to: www.energytechnologies.co.uk
The Consortium Participants:
BRE has been building a better world for almost 90 years through cutting edge research, consultancy and testing services. Our unrivalled knowledge in regard to sustainability and innovation is now used across the construction industry and in the corporate world creating better buildings, communities and businesses. BRE is part of the BRE Group of companies owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity. The profits made by BRE go to the BRE Trust the largest UK charity dedicated specifically to research and education in the built environment. www.bre.co.uk.
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear, coal and gas power stations, as well as combined heat and power plants and wind farms. The company provides power to a quarter of the Britain’s population via its electricity distribution networks and supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customer product accounts. www.edfenergy.com
Peabody is one of London’s oldest and largest social landlords and community regeneration agencies, owning or managing over 17,500 properties housing some 50,000 people. Its mission is to make London a city of opportunity for all by providing as many people as possible with a good home, a real sense of purpose and a strong feeling of belonging. www.peabody.org.uk
PRP is an award winning multi disciplinary architectural practice and has undertaken a large number of retrofit projects throughout the UK. According to AJ 2010 rankings, PRP is currently the eighth largest architectural practice in the UK and has offices across the UK and in Abu Dhabi and Moscow. www.prprchitects.co.uk
Total Flow is a consultancy that specialises in whole system performance improvement. We do this through a powerful combination of education, consulting, and change facilitation, sustained by innovation workshops and workplace training. We are acknowledged as thought leaders in our approach to product and process design, operational performance, supply chain management, customer satisfaction and lean enterprise. www.totalflow.co.uk
Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL is the fourth-ranked university in the 2009 THES-QS World University Rankings. UCL alumni include Marie Stopes, Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Woolf, Alexander Graham Bell, and members of the band Coldplay. UCL currently has over 12,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students. Its annual income is over £600 million. www.ucl.ac.uk
Wates is one of the UK’s largest family-owned construction services and development companies. Established in 1897, it remains privately owned by the Wates Family. Wates employs over 2000 people and had a turnover of £945 million in 2009. Part of the family owned Wates Group, Wates Living Space is one of the UK’s leading affordable housing contractors, working with RSLs and ALMOs we build or refurbish in the region of 20,000 homes for residents each year through the New Build and Decent Homes programme. Wates Living Space was awarded Contractor of the Year at the Housing Excellence Awards and Sustainable Contractor of the Year at the Inside Housing Sustainable Housing Awards in 2009. www.wates.co.uk