Charity sets sights on carbon-free homes

The MCS Foundation, a UK charity focused on renewable energy standards, has unveiled a new brand identity as it steps up efforts “to make every home in the country carbon-free”.

Founded by the government in 2018, the nonprofit organisation oversees certification programs for renewable technologies like solar panels and heat pumps. It is now aiming to accelerate the pace of action in the face of the ever-more-urgent climate emergency.

Nearly a fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions come from its 29 million homes. In order to meet net zero targets, the UK will need to retrofit two homes per minute for the next thirty years. The scale of this challenge is enormous, says the Foundation, and there needs to be a catalyst to scale up existing activity on retrofitting housing – installing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency.

The charity plans to develop ‘action-oriented’ programmes to retrofit buildings at scale, to expand the skills base that the retrofit sector needs (over 100,000 workers will be needed in the solar and heat pump industries alone in the next decade), and to commission robust, independent research that can inform better decision-making to help achieve a carbon-free future.

These are the key factors that The MCS Foundation sees as critical to catalysing change:

•   government legislation requiring all new homes to have solar panels, heat pumps and battery storage built in
•   action to reduce the price of electricity, thus incentivising heat pump uptake while cutting bills for households
•   new green finance products that could unlock households’ ability to retrofit their own homes
•   clear, accessible and accurate advice on how homeowners can decarbonise their house and save money on their bills.

The MCS Foundation is working with partners across the UK and devolved governments, local councils, research institutes and industry to achieve these goals, and under its new brand will step up its activity to drive positive change.

David Cowdrey, director of external affairs at The MCS Foundation, says: “We are hugely excited to be launching our new brand as we step up towards our vision of making every UK home carbon-free.

“The next few years are absolutely crucial in the mission of decarbonising homes, heat and energy as we face up to the climate emergency and work to ensure all homes are warm and efficient. The scale of that challenge requires ambition, determination, and collaboration. Working with partners across the retrofit sector and government, The MCS Foundation is ready to take on that challenge, as we catalyse change and bring evidence-based ideas to drive a positive, carbon-free future for all UK homes.”

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