Priorities > Buildings

Retrofitting existing housing stock and buildings to improve energy efficiency

A significant proportion of the energy and carbon consumed in the West Midlands comes from our existing housing and building stock (2.3 million homes consume 34% of total energy use). In the past, there has been a focus on sustainable standards for new housing and buildings. However retrofitting existing stock to be energy efficient and resilient to changing weather is essential to increase quality of life. This has been recognised by the government through the development of the national Green Deal initiative.

Outside the South East, the West Midlands has the largest concentration of construction and building product manufacturers in the UK. Each of these firms will benefit by learning lessons within their local market to export nationally and internationally. The retrofit of buildings also attracts a range of skills and jobs within new financial services, surveying, customer care, maintenance and construction. This could create hundreds of skilled jobs within pilot projects, and thousands more as initiatives are rolled out. There are also other wider social benefits as fuel poverty can be reduced, improving the quality of life; particularly in deprived areas. Savings from reduced fuel bills could translate into more disposable income for the local economy.