A new project Retrofit Loughborough aims to tackle the inefficiency of our homes in keeping in heat. Soaring bills caused by our poor housing stock is means fuel poverty is soaring – estimates are over 5 million or spending more than 10% of their household income on energy, and more and more are choosing between heating and eating. The Marmot review estimates there are over 25000 excess winter fuel deaths and over quarter of these occur in the most poorly heated and damp homes.
The latest Government initiative to tackle domestic energy efficiency – the Green Deal is having another ‘soft’ launch this week and continues to struggle to attract support from the government’s own party. Another concern is that the benefits of the initiative will be hoovered up by large corporations and not create the local Green Jobs advocates of the Green New Deal envisage. To counteract this, a new co-operative, Green Deal Conduit has been set up by parity projects and SMEs are urged to sign up so as to benefit from new business generated as we attempt to make 22 million dwellings contribute to our 2050 carbon reduction targets.
Transition Loughborough favours a community led approach since there are many non-financial and non-technical barriers to adopting energy efficiency – even free loft insulation in previous programmes was not always taken up! Mutual support and examples of succesful measures are needed. Retrofit Loughborough has been set up to develop networks and initiatives to address this. One objective is to establish a network of exemplar homes which people can visit, see for themselves retrofit measures and talk to people who have done it. Another objective to to support and build trust of the local supply chain thus helping SME builders and installers capture some of the market, and hopefully, creating more local jobs.
To kick-start the project you are invited to an energy efficiency awareness event on the 9th February. Click here for more information. Is this the new mutualism yearned for in many recent Friday Room discussions?