Retrofit support

Supporting infrastructure can make it possible for residents and businesses to make low carbon travel and lifestyle choices.

We will continue to invest in more cycling and walking routes across the county to help people to choose low carbon travel and to rely less on their cars. We'll also implement the other proposals outlined in our Surrey Transport Plan which include providing more charging points and parking for electric vehicles, more bus services, charging for transport use and introducing car clubs, as well as improving internet connections for home-working and redesigning neighbourhoods that enable easier access to local services.

We'll also work with planning authorities and developers to make sure sustainability targets are included in all our major regeneration projects. To ensure that everything we build is fit for a low carbon future, planning authorities and developers can support net-zero developments which are adapted to the impacts of climate change and achieve biodiversity net-gain.

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Retrofit Summit

In June 2023, we hosted the Surrey Retrofit Summit. Below are the aims of this event:

  • Raise the profile of retrofit in Surrey, highlighting the potential contribution to achieving net zero and benefits to the local economy.
  • Explore challenges and solutions to the skills and workforce development needs of the retrofit sector.
  • Strengthen the retrofit supply chain to meet the required scaling of the sector.

Our key findings, highlights and the information attendees found most useful is set out in the below sections.

The need for retrofit

  • Retrofit is key to Surrey's Climate Change Delivery Plan, recognising that nearly 50% of Surrey's emissions are from buildings.
  • There are an estimated 500,000 homes in Surrey with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) below C, and approximately 25 million homes nationwide requiring retrofit.
  • National government is committed to reaching net zero and increasing energy security, with retrofit seen as a key part of this.
  • Retrofit is projected to result in 500,000 jobs in the south east by 2050.
  • Retrofit represents a £10 billion market opportunity within Surrey alone.

Challenges within the retrofit supply chain

  • Businesses face the normal operational challenges, plus the added complication of working in a sector using new technologies.
  • Customers often don't necessarily understand what is needed/ available and progress can be subject to central government funding.
  • Issues around quality/reputation, especially with lack of agreed accreditation process, a rapidly evolving sector and some historical poor practice.
  • Businesses at the Summit had a wealth of experience and expertise, so there is scope for greater joining up and sharing between businesses/other stakeholders – especially given retrofit is a rapidly growing market which reduces the need to compete.
  • There is a lack of people in the sector and also of those with the right skills. This requires both retraining of existing workforce and promoting retrofit to potential new employees.
  • There is also a lack of recognised/suitable retrofit qualifications, for both new and existing employees.

Funding available to support retrofit

  • We have already secured £32 million for social housing and public sector measures in Surrey.
  • The Energy Company Obligation grant (ECO4) has a budget of £1 billion per year for domestic properties, distributed through energy companies.
  • National government has committed £6 billion for energy efficiency from 2025 to 2028, giving some long term certainty in the market.
  • Innovative new finance solutions are being developed including Green Bonds and Property Linked Finance.

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