The Buildings Mission Zero Network report, also known as Mission Retrofit, was recently released (2023) and written by Chris Skidmore OBE MP and Simon McWhirter, the Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council.
The report was written due to the authors believing that decarbonising the built environment is “one of the greatest challenges to Britain hitting Net Zero”. The report outlines ways in which the UK Government can decarbonise buildings within England, Scotland, and Wales that already exist, including measures to retrofit.
Decrease Energy Demand
One of the main points of the report is that the government are not doing enough to decrease energy demand within buildings. Currently the target is to lower this type of energy demand by 15% by 2035, when compared to the baseline figure of 2021. This new report states that for the UK to have a better chance of reaching net zero this target should double to a 30% decrease.
Decarbonising the built environment is “one of the
greatest challenges to Britain hitting Net Zero”.
The UK Government has legally binding targets, and carbon budgets that it must work towards and adhere to, as well as pledging to provide energy security and stable energy costs. The report, alongside the recommendations for this new target, also claims that the UK should be doing more which is why the report states that the UK should adopt the ‘Retrofit Mission’.
The Retrofit Mission will run alongside the £1 billion Great British Insulation Scheme that is open to applicants until March 2026, this ‘Mission’, however, should run for ten years to successfully lower energy demand. The main aim of the mission is to provide long term guidance for those within the private sector, including businesses and organisations, and the general public on how to become more energy efficient, such as through implementing low carbon heating into their homes or places of work.
The Retrofit Mission will run alongside the
£1 billion Great British Insulation Scheme.
Many companies have previously claimed to have been looking for this longer term guidance, as they believe that currently they are not receiving adequate support on how to lower the energy demand of their buildings. A representative of E.ON told Chris Skidmore that their:
“supply chain remains blighted by short-term certainty,
with schemes of one to three years in length.”
The length of this new ‘Retrofit Mission’ is hopefully a step in the right direction for businesses looking for this type of guidance. In the next few months, we will see whether our government begins to implement policies and strategies for the long term.
The report also recommends a number of other targets that the authors believe should be implemented throughout Great Britain. These targets include:
- By 2030, all new gas boilers should be banned from being sold…
- …And by 2050, there should be no homes within Great Britain that have a gas boiler.
- By 2035, 50% of all buildings should be benefitting from low carbon heat.
- By 2040, 80% of all homes within Great Britain should be using heat pumps.
- Between 2040 and 2045, there should be a phasing out of gas cookers within homes.
- By 2050, a quarter of homes within Great Britain should be benefitting from fitted solar panels.
The UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) and UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) have previously released recommendations of targets the UK Government should be looking towards implementing into policies and strategies, the targets stated above are modelled on these targets.
The report is one of two reports that are to be released regarding the ‘Retrofit Mission’. The second report is due to be published this month (October 2023). The authors also state that these reports should be implemented under any political party that runs the UK within the recommended ten year duration.