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Given the increased focus on making new housing more eco-friendly, it’s little surprise that councils are also keen to retrofit existing properties to make them more energy efficient.

Advantage read recently that councils are calling on the government to provide extra funding to deliver “environmentally friendly” new homes and to retrofit existing properties, increasing energy efficiency.

As reported by Inside Housing, in its budget submission, the Local Government Association (LGA) said that the National Infrastructure Strategy provides an opportunity to offer “capital funding for the delivery of environmentally friendly homes and commercial buildings”.

The body, which represents 339 English councils, added: “As a significant majority of the homes that will be in place by 2050 have already been built, this should include retrofitting existing homes as well as new builds.”

The government is currently consulting on plans to drive up energy efficiency standards as part of a Future Homes Standard.

However, it is already under pressure to give councils more freedom to make homes greener.

Just last month, Advantage wrote about the Passivhaus council housing scheme which won a prestigious RIBA Stirling Award and could show the way for councils keen to create flagship schemes with serious eco-friendly credentials.

Housing schemes like this one show that it’s not just commercial developers who have the potential to create eco-friendly housing of a very high standard. However, in order for councils to do more, they will, of course, need to tap into more funding.

The next Budget statement will be on 11th March and Advantage will be listening with interest to see what the government’s plans for the economy are for the coming months and how they are likely to affect the construction sector.

Inside Housing states: The government has a renewed target of delivering “more than” a million new homes over the next five years, but it has not specified the tenure of these homes. Proposals so far under Boris Johnson have focused on measures to help private housebuyers and renters.

As well as working with a host of leading commercial developers to provide structural warranties for landmark developments, Advantage also works with Housing Associations and we’ve seen first-hand that social and affordable housing can set very high standards in terms of value for money, design and green credentials. We hope that in the coming years, we’ll see increased investment in making housing at all price points more eco-friendly and energy efficient.

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