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New consortium will speed up net-zero goal

A new consortium, which includes IRT Surveys, one of the fastest growing thermal imaging and net zero software specialists in Europe, and CARA, the multi-disciplined contractor and provider of a range of specialist services, has been established. The new relationship will work with local authorities and housing associations to identify challenges and opportunities in addressing energy efficiency and decarbonisation issues across housing stocks.

The newly formed consortium – the first of its kind in the UK – aims to speed up the UK social housing sector’s transition to net-zero, providing the knowledge and technologies to support the retrofitting of up to 1.6 million properties. Working with local authorities and social housing associations, the consortium provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for a ‘whole-house’ retrofit, providing specialised services through the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) five regional Local Energy Hubs across England.

The £4 billion BEIS programme provides practical support and expertise to LEPs and local authorities and housing associations alike, to help them undertake the initial stages of development for priority energy projects, up to the point where they are able to secure finance. Local Energy Hubs funded by BEIS are administering Green Home Grant LAD Phase 2 Funding. £300 million has been dispersed across five English regions to deliver housing retrofit programmes before the end of 2021, with the Local Energy North West Hub (LENW) securing £51 million.

The consortium has won a place on all four lots of the Procure Plus Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for Domestic Retrofit Programme Delivery, which was set up in consultation with the Local Energy North West Hub. The DPS will help public sector organisations contract retrofit advice, assessment and installation of measures for low-income households across the North West of England in 2021 and 2022.

The consortium will also serve as an exclusive specialist supplier on the Social Housing Emerging Disruptors (SHED) Framework. Supported by the National Housing Federation (NHF), Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and HouseMark, the framework will be used to upgrade the energy efficiency of more than 75% of the UK’s social housing stock. By providing a unified delivery model through the consortium, IRT Surveys and CARA are working together as a single contractor to eliminate complexities, decrease risk, reduce costs and optimise the retrofit process.

Stuart Little, CEO of IRT Surveys, said: “We are delighted to form this partnership as part of this new unique consortium with CARA. Through the power of collaboration, and the pooling together of our established skills in surveying and contracting, we will ensure the delivery of the critical ‘golden thread’ that ties together all SHED framework lots, to de-risk procurement processes and provide a seamless delivery model for housing retrofits.”

IRT Surveys help clients make smart retrofit decisions using the latest thermal imaging technology and DREam, the company’s flagship online platform that shows users how to save energy and access funding fast. Since 2002 IRT has surveyed over 350,000 homes the UK – as well as 2,000 commercial buildings globally, including Buckingham Palace, The White House, Reichstag and EU Headquarters – and helped hundreds of housing professionals plan retrofits to make their homes more energy-efficient.

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