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Waltham Forest takes charge of city-wide home improvement scheme


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Four out of five local homes pay hundreds more in energy bills than necessary (Credit: James Cracknell)
Four out of five local homes pay hundreds more in energy bills than necessary (Credit: James Cracknell)

Waltham Forest is now leading a city-wide drive to make the capital’s homes more energy efficient.

The programme, known as Retrofit London, aims to bring all the capital’s properties up to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) B – the second-highest rating possible – by 2030.

To do this, homes will have their insulation improved and their boilers upgraded to cut down on how much heat escapes the building. 

The council agreed to take the lead for a group of 24 London boroughs taking part in the programme, with an annual budget of £445,000 a year.

Benefits of improving energy ratings include addressing fuel poverty, improving people’s health, cleaning the city’s air and creating “green jobs”.

It will also help the United Kingdom reach its commitment to decarbonising the economy by 2050.

A report approved by cabinet today said: “Retrofit London is currently managed by a combination of officers from the lead boroughs and London Councils. 

“While this approach worked effectively during the development phase, the scale and breadth of this cross-tenure approach now requires dedicated resources to operationalise the programme.”


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For the next two to three years the Retrofit London team will seek further funding and begin implementing the plan developed last July by London Councils, an association of the capital’s local authorities.

The Greater London Authority runs a similar programme, Retrofit Accelerator, which also is committed to retrofitting 1,600 London homes by 2024.

In April, a council report estimated that four out of five Waltham Forest homes pay hundreds more in energy bills than they should each year due to poor insulation.

At a “conservative” estimate, bringing all local homes up to a good standard of energy efficiency would cost an average of £13,000 each – and £2.9bn in total.

Following the original publication of this article, a London Councils spokesperson said: “We co-ordinate closely with the Greater London Authority and other partners to deliver on this programme and to ensure our work is complementary.

“London boroughs are committed to addressing the climate crisis, and to deliver on this agenda we require the government to provide long-term, sufficient funding that helps meet the cost of retrofitting measures.

“These measures are crucial not only for tackling climate change, but will also help reduce fuel poverty and support residents through the cost-of-living crisis.”


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