A healthy retrofit market remains ready to deliver a net zero future

While the messaging has been buried politically over recent months, the clear message from the market is that low carbon retrofit is the focus.  

The push for net zero remains essential as we look to improve building stock, reduce operating costs, and deliver positive outcomes for occupants.   
Supply chain collaboration remains essential – in this time of innovation and change, sharing data, best practice and ideas will be important as we look to transform the sector.  


The retrofit challenge remains 

In the mid-1990s, when LHC first began developing energy efficiency frameworks, discussions about climate change and carbon-neutral and positive buildings were still very much in their infancy. Today, they are mission critical and unilaterally recognised as a key priority for all. Our public sector clients are under pressure to improve their building stock, both in the short term to support tenants as the energy crisis continues, and longer term to align with the Government’s 2050 net zero target. 

In England, there are a number of multi-billion-pound funding schemes, including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Home Upgrade Grant, and Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, driving the upgrade of social homes and public buildings. In Wales, the Optimised Retrofit Programme is a whole-house, pragmatic approach to decarbonising existing homes and is just one example of that country’s robust approach to retrofit policy and practice. And Scotland still has its retrofit policies intact, including a commitment to replace a million gas boilers by 2030. 

Most social landlords are working to get all their homes upgraded to EPC C by 2030, with almost 70% of the sector’s properties currently meeting this standard. Many housing associations and local authorities are still strongly committed to scaling up insulation and heat pump use in all homes, including off-grid properties, and are helping to support the development of local supply chains, creating many good, green jobs. 

It shows what can be done, even where political leadership and messaging is mixed and the risk of a different political position could happen if an election takes place. There is plenty of work to be had, and plenty of frameworks out there that can provide a conduit to that work. 

LHCs commitment to delivering energy efficiency and meeting the net zero challenge is unwavering. We have been dedicated to driving innovation through our energy efficiency-focused frameworks for over 30 years now, and it remains a priority for us and our client base.  


How LHC’s upcoming framework will help the public sector 

The new Retrofit and Decarbonisation (N9) framework will be the successor to our successful Energy Efficiency Measures & Associated Works (N8) framework, which expires in November.  

Set to launch in autumn through this year, N9 will support local authorities, housing associations, schools, and a range of other public sector organisations in delivering a suite of energy efficiency and decarbonisation works, helping them with their journey to achieving net carbon zero and improving the EPC ratings of their stock.  

It is the most important framework in development since LHC became a CLG in April 2023, and will be available nationwide through our five business units: London and South East (LSE); Consortium Procurement Construction (CPC); South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA); Welsh Procurement Alliance (WPA); and Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA). 

Having carried out extensive pre-market engagement, it's clear that our framework must align with relevant standards and provide the flexibility needed to give our clients the ability to deliver important retrofit works in the way that best suits them. Therefore, all bidders will be required to have, or commit to work towards relevant industry standards, such as PAS 2030, and there will be specific requirements for each lot.  

N9 will be operating within a highly competitive market, with the potential for changes in government policy and the rapid evolution of the energy sector during its four-year term. That’s why pre-tender engagement has been so important for us in helping to identify opportunities to futureproof the framework as much as possible for the years to come. 


Supply chain event 

As we finalise our approach, we continue with our pre-tender engagement (PTE). To that end, suppliers are embracing the unique opportunity to work in collaboration with our dedicated technical team to shape the framework in its early stages. 

We will be discussing the challenges facing the sector in decarbonising the UK’s existing public sector buildings, and the role of our N9 framework in helping public sector organisations overcome these challenges, at our upcoming event RETROFIT FOR A NET ZERO FUTURE 

Join us at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham on 28 February to gain some interesting insights surrounding the challenges, opportunities, and experiences in delivering retrofit and decarbonisation programmes, and also get the latest information on our upcoming framework, what we are seeking to achieve and how to apply.  

For more information and to register, visit: www.lhcprocure.org.uk/fitforfuture 

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