Re:fit was initially developed by the Mayor of London to overcome three key barriers that were preventing the retrofit of non-domestic public sector buildings from happening at the required rate and scale:
- a lack of capacity and expertise within public sector organisations to identify and implement projects, and access finance
- long and complex procurement processes
- risks associated with investing money with long term paybacks and no savings guarantees
2008 – Re:fit is piloted
Re:fit was launched by the Mayor to test whether a combination of an energy performance contracting (EPC) model and expert technical support could overcome the barriers set out above and so accelerate the pace and scale of retrofit. Under this model, providers guarantee a set level of energy savings, thus ensuring a future income stream to fund investment in the energy efficiency improvements.
This approach means the risk associated with the delivery of energy savings is borne by the provider rather than the building owner. During the pilot, 42 GLA-owned buildings successfully underwent energy efficiency works, with energy savings as high as 28 per cent over an average seven year payback from an investment of £8m.
2009 – the first Re:fit framework is launched
An EPC framework of ten suppliers was set up under the EU procurement regime, to streamline the procurement process and ensure guaranteed savings for public sector organisations. The framework was open to organisations throughout the UK. Technical support was provided on an interim basis.
2011 – the first Re:fit Programme Delivery Unit starts work
A support team was set up by the GLA, with funding from ELENA, to support London’s public sector organisations and to manage the framework.
2012 – the second Re:fit framework is launched
The second Re:fit framework procured by the GLA in November 2012 comprised 12 suppliers.
2014 – Re:fit goes national
In November 2012, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), working in collaboration with LP, announced its intention to provide a support service, similar to that provided in London, to public sector organisations outside the capital. The aim of this was:
- to build on the success of the programme in London
- to maximise opportunities for EPC in England and Wales
- to ensure that organisations were guided through the development and delivery phases of an EPC project
- to reduce public sector energy usage, cut fuel bills and identify income generation opportunities to reduce the UK’s energy emissions.
In 2014 the programme became fully operational and is now being rolled out to clients across England
2016 – Re:fit Cymru
In Jan 2016 Welsh Government received funding from the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union to set up a Programme Implementation Unit to provide support to Welsh public sector organisations to identify, develop and implement Re:fit projects.
Local Partnerships and the GLA, supported by Crown Commercial Service, BEIS and the Welsh Government, procure a new framework, valued at £1.5bn.
- Ameresco Ltd
- Bouygues E & S
- Breathe Energy
- British Gas Trading Ltd
- EDF Energy Customers plc
- Engie (formerly Cofely)