RE:FIT is a ready-to-use, cost-neutral procurement initiative which allows the public sector to retrofit existing buildings with energy conservation measures, reduce carbon emissions and achieve substantial annual energy cost savings.
The project was implemented by the London Development Agency, a case study was submitted through the annual ManagEnergy call and after a rigorous evaluation procedure RE:FIT won the 2011 ManagEnergy Local Energy Action Award in the category ‘Technical projects’!
Buildings represent 71% of London's CO2 emissions - a total of 31.5 million tonnes of CO2. London's commercial, public and domestic buildings have the potential to cut emissions quickly through energy efficiency measures, which will help to reduce the capital’s carbon footprint and significantly increase energy savings in homes, businesses and the public sector.
Harvesting potential energy savings is not an easy job! Therefore, RE:FIT aims to overcome the two biggest obstacles facing the public sector – capital and capacity. It streamlines the procurement process by providing pre-negotiated, EU-regulation compliant framework contracts through which a group of pre-qualified energy-service companies (ESCOs) can undertake the design and implementation of energy-conservation measures.
The key to the project’s success is that through a ‘spend-to-save’ programme the risk of energy savings from improvements is transferred onto the ESCO, while a return over an agreed period is guaranteed.
"This innovative financing and procurement model has cut out all the time delays and hassles for public sector organisations. We have tested it… so we know it delivers the goods…" Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Several leading agencies, including Transport for London, the London Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade, took part in the first phase of the project.
It is estimated that if all public-sector buildings in London used this model, they could save around £500 million (€576 million) in energy costs.
Outside London, Leeds and Sheffield are currently using the framework. Southampton, Portsmouth, Milton Keynes, Reading and Oxford have all signed a Memorandum of Understanding to proceed with RE:FIT. And at European level, the RE:FIT team is currently talking to other cities in Europe with similar interests in retrofitting existing buildings.
The London Development Agency and the Greater London Authority have now made a successful application to the European Commission for £2.67 million (€3.1 million) to drive the take up of RE:FIT further.
RE:FIT is targeting at least 40% of public-sector buildings – 11 million m2 – to cut carbon emissions by 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 by 2025.
Energy efficiency: key for London’s future
Aside from the RE:FIT project, the London Development Agency acts as a catalyst to improve the energy efficiency of:
• housing through the RE:NEW project, implementing 10 easy measures
• public and commercial buildings through tailored support programmes
• specific areas in London, through Low Carbon Zones.