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Zero Carbon Homes and Retrofit

The West Midlands is considering how it uses its position to support the decarbonisation of new and existing homes. 

We are looking to ensure that our new build homes achieve these standards by embedding the minimum requirements set out in our Zero Carbon Homes Routemap within the Single Commissioning Framework as pre-qualification criteria for all sites in which we invest. These targets have been determined in line with other industry exemplars such as LETI and RIBA 2030 and tested with our expert Zero Carbon Taskforce. We are also considering our role in developing the capacity of the region to deliver zero carbon homes, lowering the viability gap by providing certainty of pipeline and growing our capacity in building techniques and materials.

As a manufacturing region, we are exploring how we can use advanced manufacturing techniques and modern methods of construction to both facilitate the path to zero carbon new homes and build a market for retrofit. The design and manufacture of components such as roof cassettes and energy pods are being explored by partners in the region, with potential options for roll out through the development of our Net Zero Neighbourhood Demonstrator.

Recognising that we do not want to leave anyone behind in the decarbonisation of homes across the region, we are looking to protect the most vulnerable by initiating our ‘Warm Home Save Lives’ programme to redress the impacts of the transition on the fuel poor and most vulnerable. This is particularly important as the region already has the second highest incidence of fuel poverty and the largest fuel poverty gap of any English region. Existing mechanisms to address this imbalance are not effective enough, as they focus on energy measures, rather than looking at the situation of the person in fuel poverty. 

To ensure the West Midlands is able to rise to the retrofit challenge, we are working closely with BEIS and the Midlands Energy Hub through the provision of support to local authorities to access Local Authority Delivery Scheme funding. We have also established a central resource within the WMCA to provide capacity to our local authorities in the form of a SMART Hub, designed to help build a Sustainable Market for Affordable Retrofit Technologies.