Palm House at Kew Gardens

RE:FIT London - cutting carbon emissions and energy costs

21 December 2017

2017 has been yet another landmark year for the Mayor’s RE:FIT programme which has delivered energy efficiency to some of London’s most iconic organisations. The team is working with the likes of the Bank of England, Kew Gardens (pictured) and various universities and hospitals to help cut costs and CO2 emissions. Since the programme started it has saved organisations over £7million per year, and saved over 30,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The Mayor wants to make London a zero carbon city by 2050. Today workplaces make up 42% of London’s greenhouse gas emissions. Newer buildings require much less energy, and by 2019, all new (non-domestic) buildings will be carbon neutral according to the Mayor’s plans.

However, lots of London’s older buildings, built over hundreds of years, produce unacceptable emissions levels and are expensive to power and heat. In 2017 alone over £3.1bn was spent on heating and powering London’s workplaces.

The aim of RE:FIT is to help reduce carbon emissions through retrofitting public sector buildings with modern energy efficiency measures. This also guarantees a reduction in energy use, typically by 15 – 25 per cent. 

Actions taken include:

  • Energy conservation and efficiency – LED lighting, heating controls
  • Renewables –  solar PV
  • Non-building assets - street lighting

RE:FIT’s experts provide free support to get projects up and running and successfully implemented. They also provide a framework to quickly and efficiently procure an energy service company to carry out the retrofitting work. This framework also guarantees energy savings on the work undertaken.

Major RE:FIT achievements in 2017:

London Boroughs 

  • London Borough of Sutton achieved £279k energy savings to date. In year 2, its electricity usage fell by 27% as a result of its RE:FIT project.            
  • London Borough of Enfield - preferred bidder Ameresco is planning to implement energy efficiency measures on 21 buildings which will commence in April 2018. 
  • London Borough of Hounslow, having completed a large scale solar PV project at Western International Market, the borough is now moving forward on their schools programme and have completed detailed design on six schools with a further 18 planned.

Hospitals

  • Epsom and St Helier Hospitals (NHS Trust) have identified guaranteed energy savings totalling nearly 9 MWh across two phases of works. The first phase is under construction with second phase expected to start in early 2018. 

Education:

  • London School of Economics and Political Science achieved £320k energy savings in a year which exceeded the targeted savings set on the design stage and highlighted particularly high savings of 30% in gas usage for phase one. The university are currently looking at a third phase of works to further increase the savings.
  • Imperial College London identified guaranteed energy savings totalling around 1.5 MWh which are planned to be installed in 2018.  
  • London Metropolitan University completed their RE:FIT project exceeding the anticipated energy savings, resulting in a total of £104k savings per year. The project included lighting upgrades and solar panel installations.

Find out more about the RE:FIT programme and the Mayor’s plans to reduce carbon emissions in London’s buildings.