Green Finance Institute launches UK framework for Building Renovation Plans

by | Oct 5, 2021

Industry-created guidelines expected to kick-start market for retrofit passports

As the property sector takes stock of its 23% contribution to national carbon emissions and the task ahead to reduce them to net zero, a key tool is emerging to help individual and institutional owners understand their property’s current energy efficiency and provide a roadmap to improve it.

First recommended by the UKCCC and also the UK’s all-party Environmental Audit Committee in 2019, Building Renovation Plans (BRPs), also known as Building Renovation Passports, will give users a clear snapshot of a property’s current green status and recommend the steps needed improve it, signposting to both verified tradespeople and suppliers and to available sources of financing for the work. They will also help private landlords to ensure compliance with energy efficiency standards, give public sector housing providers information needed to form their retrofit strategies, and help valuers and estate agents correlate energy efficiency and property values, and mortgage lenders to better assess the climate risks to their portfolio.

Today the Green Finance Institute’s Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) launches a framework to help introduce BRPs into the UK market, created with input from 50 organisations and experts from the property, retrofit, energy, finance and data sectors, as well as local authorities and social landlords. Building on the CEEB’s March 2021 market research, the framework outlines good practice considerations and recommendations for businesses developing BRP propositions, as well as those that seek to support their introduction. It sets out the key information inputs and outputs required in a BRP, as well as guidance on data governance.

Providing the first guidance of its kind for the UK market, the CEEB’s cross-sectoral initiative on BRPs has already seen its member Santander launch the EnergyFact report, in partnership with CountryWide Surveying Services. With today’s announcement, the framework is expected to catalyse the development of more information tools for homeowners, with the Residential Logbook Association member companies launching a first generation of BRPs hosted within property logbooks by the end of this year.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, Chief Executive of the Green Finance Institute: “Building Renovation Plans are an important tool to underpin the UK’s retrofit market, and have been shown to engage homeowners, suppliers and financiers on the net-zero transition in several European countries. By providing reliable and granular information, BRPs can support demand for retrofitting and provide our banks and building societies with the confidence needed to channel investment at scale towards upgrading the UK’s building stock .”

Mick Taylor, Santander UK, “The Building Renovation Plan framework can provide homes with both a useful history of renovation works and a forward plan for improving energy efficiency. This will help current and future owners map out their own net-zero journey, better understand retrofits which are bespoke to their home and help cost and sequence those improvements.”

Dr Ahsan Khan, the Active Building Centre Research Programme’s Director for Research and Innovation, says, “Building Renovation Plans represent an industry wide view on developing a consistent approach to unlock the green finance mechanisms in support of the UK’s net zero ambitions. With COP26 just around the corner and significant programmes developing retrofit scale-up initiatives, BRPs will provide a timely framework to ensure a swift transition to a better performing built environment, homes and workplaces.

“We look forward to trialling the application of the GFI BRP framework at nation scale across Wales over the coming months in conjunction with building stock and network modelling to ensure building retrofit activity is better targeted. With the help of GFI and CEEB collaborators we hope to create a level playing field where we can all, as citizens on a collective journey to net zero, access finance and funding to make the transition to a net zero economy equitable and affordable to all.”

Nigel Walley, Chair of the Residential Logbook Association (RLBA), “The RLBA is really excited to have been part of this work. We believe the output will be a significant building block to the roll-out of Renovation Plans across the UK and will support the plan to get 28 million homes ready for NetZero. Having an agreed data framework means everyone in the industry can plan for the products and services needed to support a national retrofit campaign.”

Click here to read Nigel Walley’s opinion piece on BRPs.

The BRPs framework will be updated annually as new standards and best practices become available, as well as to reflect feedback from data users and innovations from BRP providers.