Mission Retrofit also suggests introducing a new bill to Parliament to help achieve net zero buildings

A national retrofit delivery agency is key to overseeing upgrades and making buildings net zero, according to a new report.

The report, co-authored by MP Chris Skidmore and the deputy chief executive of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), Simon McWhirter, said a new national independent body is needed for the government to meet its retrofit and insulation targets.

The proposed agency would be tasked with setting and delivering the UK’s carbon emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2035, as well as developing plans to install 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028.

Retrofit insulation

A national body will help government meet its retrofit targets, the report said

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The report says the agency should ensure and maintain quality standards, co-ordinate workforce training and standards and scale best-practice.

It said the agency, which would lead on a national retrofit plan, should be formed of all relevant industry bodies and could be created out the expansion of the existing non-profit group National Retrofit Hub.

The report, titled Mission Retrofit, also proposes a National Retrofit Bill to reform standards, including EPCs and net zero performance certificates, to increase trust in the retrofit industry.

The report highlights the key challenges to reducing carbon emissions in homes, including the low existing rates of home insulation and energy efficiency ratings in private rented sector properties.

The report, published by Skidmore’s Mission Zero Coalition of green businesses, follows prime minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement of changes to the government’s net zero policies last month.

One of these is that the requirement for private rented properties to have an EPC rating of C or higher by 2025 has been removed. Additionally, the ban on new gas boilers has been delayed from 2026 to 2035. 

This government has also abolished the Energy Efficiency Taskforce that was set up only six months ago.

The aim of the taskforce was to reduce total UK energy demand by 15% from 2021 levels by 2030, across homes, commercial buildings and industrial processes.

Government data from 2022 reveals that 91% of the 8.5 million UK properties with solid walls are not insulated, while the 33% of the 25.5 million houses with lofts remain uninsulated.