By Marcus Leach
Schools, libraries, town halls and hospitals are among nearly 400 public buildings set to get an energy efficiency makeover thanks to the Mayor Boris Johnson's RE:FIT programme.
At a time when organisations are facing squeezed budgets, RE:FIT is set to see 100 buildings completed or signed up with finance in place by May this year.
This is all part of the Mayor’s plan to retrofit London’s buildings - responsible for 80 per cent of the capital's carbon emissions - with measures such as photovoltiac solar panels, low energy lighting systems and new, efficient boilers on an unprecedented scale, whilst also boosting the economy and creating new jobs.
The Mayor's target for 100 public sector buildings to use RE:FIT is expected to be met by May 2012 with hundreds more to follow. Work is already finished or very near completion on 86 buildings which is estimated will save £1.3m of taxpayers' cash through reduced energy bills each year. Detailed preparation is underway to sign up a further 297 buildings in the next 12 months.
These include schools, town halls, libraries and museums, leading to estimated savings up to £6m on energy bills each year and 36,000 tonnes of carbon each year - the equivalent of taking around 60,000 vehicles off London's roads.
Organisations using the award-winning RE:FIT programme can cut out the red tape and associated costs that would normally have to be undertaken before any major building works in the public sector. They can choose a contractor from a pre-vetted list that will offer a guaranteed energy saving upfront and pay back costs using the predicted fuel bill savings - making the overall project cost neutral.
"Retrofitting London is a win-win, not only does it make perfect economic and common sense by cutting energy costs but it also reduces carbon emissions and stimulates the capital’s burgeoning low carbon economy, creating jobs and boosting skills," the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said.
"The ranks of public organisations opting to use RE:FIT is growing by the day and I urge others to also sign up and reap the financial rewards it delivers."
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