RE:FIT, or the retrofitting of London’s public sector buildings, is one of the pillars of the Mayor of London’s strategic approach to climate mitigation in London. It is a programme designed to help public sector and charitable organisations achieve substantial financial savings, improve the energy performance of their buildings and reduce their CO2 footprint based on the principle of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC).
The programme’s ambition is to reach, by 2025, 40% of the public buildings, this would correspond to some 11 million m² and would represent an investment amount of 400M £. Its intermediary targets for 2015 are to retrofit 600 buildings corresponding to 1,6 million m² and representing CO2 emission reductions of 45K tonnes.
The first RE:FIT framework to deliver the programme was created in 2010, building on experiences with pilot BEEP (Building Energy Efficiency Programme) which was in place from 2009 to 2010. It streamlines the procurement process for energy services by providing pre-negotiated, EU-regulation-compliant contracts that can be used with a group of pre-qualified Energy Service Companies (ESCos) for the design and implementation of energy conservation measures.
The second RE:FIT framework, OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) procured by the London Authority, started in September 2011 for a period of 48 months. The 2nd RE:FIT framework, is operated by RE:FIT Programme Delivery Unit (PDU). PDU basically manages the RE:FIT framework of suppliers, facilitates the uptake by London’s public sector organisations and supports the beneficiaries through all project stages.
In the summer of 2013 the GLA launched a specific RE:FIT School programme targeted to address energy efficiency in schools. The programme is supported by Salix, an independent, publicly funded company, dedicated to providing the public sector with loans for energy efficiency projects. Salix provides interest free loans to participating schools up to 100% of the project value.
So far the PDU has been able to engage 199 public sector organisations in the programme, representing a total investment value of 68,6M £. About 460 buildings have been retrofitted or are in the process of being retrofitted.