This story from Green Party Asssemby Member Zack Polanski, puts today's retrofit announcement from Brent Council in perspective. Brent was awarded the second lowest amount of the successsful London boroughs:
Green London Assembly Member Zack Polanski today revealed to the Mayor that just 45 homes had been retrofitted across London under the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, despite £18 million being made available to London councils over a year ago.
The measures to improve the energy efficiency of London’s homes were supposed to be completed by the end of March 2023, but a shortage of skilled workers has delayed delivery.
Green London Assembly Member Zack Polanski said:
The Mayor is still sitting on his hands despite declaring a ‘retrofit revolution’ two years ago.
His failure to get a handle on the retrofit skills gap is preventing London benefitting from available Government funds.
The Mayor needs to get his retrofit revolution on the right track, support the upgrading of homes and protect Londoners from sky-high energy bills.
Nine of the 11 London boroughs awarded funds have failed to deliver any retrofitting works at all. This represents over £13 million of available government funding not being put to use.
Across the country, just 14% of the planned 20,000 homes expected to be upgraded have had works completed. As a result, the deadline for local authorities to spend the first wave of funding has been extended to June.
Housing experts, including representatives from the Chartered Institute of Housing, say the slow rollout of retrofit upgrades stems from a national skills shortage in the retrofit sector. London Councils have said that London needs 110,000 people working in retrofit by 2030. Currently, there are only 4,000
The publication of this data comes after the Mayor of London showed hesitance to ramp-up his retrofit skills training offer using his £320 million Adult Education Budget. Speaking to the London Assembly in November, the Mayor said, “what we need is some certainty there are [retrofit] jobs to go to.”
With Londoners facing rising bills during the cost of living crisis, retrofitting homes to improve their energy efficiency is a way to reduce energy bills and household costs – while reducing emissions.
The second wave of funding, being made available to local authorities and housing associations later this year, is around four times the budget of the first wave, at almost £800 million.