Power, Anne, Lane, Laura and Serle, Nicola (2008) ‘Teach in’ on energy and existing homes: restoring neighbourhoods and slowing climate change. CASEreport, 56. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
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Homes that have already built account for 99% of our total housing stock. We estimate that 86% of the current stock will still be in use in 2050. Building new homes is carbon intensive and implies many wider environmental impacts. But the existing stock can be made more efficient, at a reasonable cost, to realise many environmental and social gains. Homes are responsible for 27% of our total CO2 emissions through their energy use, for half of public water use, and they generate large amounts of total UK waste. Large savings can be achieved using technologies that are readily available, cost effective and cheaper than many alternatives. In addition, construction waste contributes to 33% of the total UK waste stream. LSE Housing held two workshops in June 2008 to explore how to retrofit the existing stock. The workshops specifically looked at demonstrating the links between neighbourhood renewal, social cohesion and energy conservation. Participants included managers of existing homes, regeneration companies, local authorities, and housing associations as well as policy makers. The aim of the workshop was to share experience on how to make the existing stock both more attractive and more energy efficient with big gains for the environment and communities. Tackling resource efficiency in existing homes requires a comprehensive package of measures to deliver a step change. But the payback from implementing these changes will be great. This report summarises the aims of the workshops, together with the views of participants on the main barriers to retrofitting the existing stock, and key ideas on ‘where to start’.
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