Enfield Council to retrofit buildings in climate plan

Retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient will be a key focus of Enfield Council’s plan to tackle climate change.

The council is hiring a water and energy efficiency officer and could create a post covering buildings that will focus on retrofitting and new-build schemes.

It is also working with Waltham Forest Council on an action plan to retrofit homes, Enfield’s head of climate action and sustainability Dominic Millen told a meeting of the environment forum on Tuesday.

Retrofitting involves adding insulation and other measures to older buildings to reduce energy consumption.

Mr Millen told the meeting: “In terms of our own direct emissions, it is mainly around buildings and their use, and that includes our maintained schools.”

He added: “Residential retrofit – that is possibly the biggest challenge we have got. We are working jointly with Waltham Forest on a London-wide programme to address what we need to do to get to an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) B or average by 2030 – which, in effect, means quite a big jump.

“We have to do a significant amount of work across both public and private sectors to deliver that.”

His comments came during an update on the council’s climate action plan, which sets targets of making the council a carbon-neutral organisation by 2030 and the whole borough carbon neutral by 2040.

Other areas of focus for the council include sustainable procurement and transport, adaptation and resilience and energy and water.

Mr Millen said that while waste and recycling was a corporate priority, and the council was already doing a lot of work on it, it was “not something we have to push on with in 2021-22”. He claimed it only accounted for two to three per cent of borough-wide emissions.

Shadow cabinet member for environment Cllr Lindsay Rawlings (Conservative, Town) claimed Enfield’s recycling rate was “very low” compared to other boroughs and pointed out it was something residents could help to improve. She also asked if the council was looking at the Edmonton Incinerator.

Mr Millen said the council was already working on boosting waste and recycling collection rates in flats and looking at fly-tipping, but he would ask his team to look at other opportunities.

“I think where we really need to focus is on buildings – because they are the things that need a lot of investment, a lot of time to gear up, to deliver – and people,” he added.

Mr Millen said the Edmonton Incinerator was “not in the purview of the climate action plan, mainly because it is a national infrastructure project”.

“What we have been considering is what it means for borough-wide emissions, and that is an ongoing discussion with North London Waste Authority and others,” he added.

The council plans to hold an engagement session with the public in July and August before publishing details of its progress on the climate action plan.

Enfield Independent | News