Thomas Bridge 13 June 2013

Cambridge launches £1bn energy efficiency project

A £1bn project installing energy efficiency technologies into properties across Cambridge is expected to cut the city’s carbon emissions by 30%.

Run by representatives from organisations and businesses, the Cambridge Retrofit Project will support energy efficiency improvements in around 20,000 private homes and 20,000 non-residential properties by 2050.

While the total cost of retrofits is expected to stand at £1bn, the project team has estimated £1.5bn will be generated in energy savings.

cambridgeThe Cambridge Retrofit Project could deliver £1.5bn in energy savings.

Retrofits will be co-ordinated by a Programme Management Unit, which will act to reduce costs and ensure local businesses form the project’s principal supply chain. Businesses and households are being encouraged to sign up to a website containing a full list of organisations involved.

Handling the project will be Day One Energy Services, charged with delivering and financing retrofits, Consese, which will take the lead on mobilising businesses and residents, and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research.

A group of 30 public and private sector partners chaired by former leader of Cambridge City Council, Sian Reid, will monitor the Unit’s performance and ensure the work acts in the best interests of the community.

Director of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, professor Douglas Crawford-Brown, said: ‘It’s a huge challenge, but if we are going to achieve the ambitious carbon reduction targets that the UK has set, then we are going to have to learn how to run projects of this scale.

‘Crucially, our plan is to ensure that the business of retrofitting Cambridge’s buildings is demand-driven. Other attempts at initiatives like this have tended to work on the assumption that if a programme to make large-scale changes like this is created, people will use it.’

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