RE:FIT, retrofitting Public buildings for minimal outlay in the UK
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has created the RE:FIT Building Energy Efficiency programme, a procurement framework providing a turnkey contracting model that greatly accelerate retrofits to reduce energy use in public buildings and allow public sector organisations to make substantial cost savings. RE:FIT is an ambitious and far reaching scheme designed to provide a convenient and consistent pathway to retrofitting buildings with energy conservation measures. Focusing on energy efficiency, energy reduction and green energy creation RE:FIT is now available to all public organisations in London and the UK.
Piloted in London the RE:FIT programme initially incorporated 42 buildings in the Greater London Authority. This innovative approach adopts Energy performance Contracting (EPC) – where modifications to a building are financed by energy savings made over time. Energy Service Companies (ESCos) will install energy conservation measures in identified buildings and guarantee annual energy savings over an agreed payback period. This Energy performance Contracting model transfers the risk of performance to the ESCos as they must guarantee the energy savings to be made over the agreed payback period, typically around 7 years. At the end of the payback period savings continue to benefit the building’s owner. A wide range of energy saving measures have been installed on buildings to date including draught proofing, heat recovery, solar thermal, secondary glazing, voltage optimisation, cavity wall insulation and combined heat and power. The 42 buildings in the pilot identified CO2 savings of 28% on average and these savings were gained for minimal outlay, the improvements being paid for over the life of the contract and the risk being taken on by the ESCo. The establishment of the RE:FIT framework of companies reduces the procurement cost of this type of retrofit and contributes toward overall affordability, there are now around 140 organisations in the pipeline for RE:FIT.
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