Skip to main content

Conversations series: A just transition to net zero – retrofitting London’s homes

Event information>



1:00 pm to 2:00 pm


Event type


The aim of the conversation series is to bring academic researchers, policymakers, businesses and community and voluntary sector experts together and undertake ideas generation that could help accelerate the retrofitting of London's housing and other buildings.


The London Research and Policy Partnership (LRaPP) are hosting a series of online conversations to consider future research and policy and business activities to secure a just transition to a zero carbon London, with a particular focus on scaling up the retrofitting of London's homes.

National government is committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the Mayor of London by 2030. But achieving this will mean radical action on retrofitting London's buildings and in particular homes with effective insulation and low-carbon energy systems.

Webinar 1: Making London's Net Zero 2030 Ambition a Reality: Challenges and Solutions in Programme Management

London's ambitious Net Zero 2030 goal, with an estimated capital spend of £5-10 billion annually over the next decade, poses significant challenges from a programme management perspective. This webinar delves into the barriers that need to be overcome to ensure the successful delivery of this sustainability initiative. By examining existing solutions and drawing lessons from other major capital programmes worldwide, this event aims to provide insights into how London can achieve its Net Zero targets efficiently and effectively. 

You can watch the complete webinar where Richard McWilliams from Turner and Townsend frames the challenges ahead of London’s goal to reach net zero by 2030. Find out about the need for a coordinated and collective effort to transform the retrofitting market and achieve a sustainable future.

Richard McWilliams said:

Ultimately there is a massive demand for delivering net zero through retrofitting the built environment. This is a huge undertaking due to the substantial amount of existing building stock in London, and it's characterized as a massive unmet need. In 2050, 80% of the stock that is going to exist then already exists now

Richard McWilliams is Director, Sustainability at Turner and Townsend. Richard forms, leads, and grows a team to help governments, cities, and individual organizations define and deliver their pathway to a low carbon, sustainable future. Addressing both existing and new-build assets in housing, wider real estate, defence, and infrastructure sectors, Richard is instrumental in creating a diverse team of passionate experts who are purpose-driven. His expertise particularly shines in major net zero/retrofit programs. 

Making London's Net Zero 2030 Ambition a Reality: Challenges and Solutions in Programme Management - poster


Webinar 1: Making London's Net Zero 2030 Ambition a Reality: Challenges and Solutions in Programme Management

Webinar 1: Making London's Net Zero 2030 Ambition a Reality: Challenges and Solutions in Programme Management

Webinar 2: London's Net Zero Ambition: Decarbonising heat at speed

Watch the complete webinar where Jan Rosenow from the Regulatory Assistance Project frames the challenges of decarbonising heat particularly through the adoption of heat pumps and emphasizes the importance of a balanced approach combining fabric efficiency and heat supply decarbonization as he also expands on good practice case studies across Europe. Find out about technical options, policy levers going forward for a net zero future.


I think ultimately, we're going to need sustained public funding for low-income households for quite a while, until costs have come down and we really see that the upfront cost is no longer a big barrier, but I can't see that changing for at least for another 5 to 10 years. I think significant funding for low-income households is absolutely essential.  Dr Jan Rosenow 

Guest Speaker:

As the director of European programmes, Dr. Jan Rosenow leads the Regulatory Assistance Project’s (RAP) initiatives in Europe on power market design and Efficiency First. He is responsible for all aspects of leadership, management, and financial viability of RAP’s work in Europe. Dr. Rosenow serves on the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency’s demand-side management program and sits on the board of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. He has also advised the International Energy Agency, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), government departments in a number of countries, and the UK’s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, as well as serving as an expert witness on several occasions to the British Parliament. He was the lead author of the International Energy Agency’s global assessment of market-based instruments for energy efficiency. 

Webinar 2: London's Net Zero Ambition: Decarbonising heat at speed

Webinar 2: London's Net Zero Ambition: Decarbonising heat at speed

Webinar 3: Rational or relational? Why we need to think differently about how we plan large scale retrofit

This webinar will delve into new ways of thinking the large scale planning challenge of retrofitting, towards achieving London's net zero ambition. 

Sharing insights from a range of retrofit research projects, Pippa will question whether the conventional, rational approach to planning retrofit programmes sits at odds with the relational factors that are critical for success. Could our blinkered view of project efficiency and cost control actually be hindering our attempts to deliver retrofit at scale? Leaning heavily on her behavioural economics background, Pippa will throw light on the tensions between the rational, technical challenge of retrofit, and the psychological, value-centric aspects that are often overlooked. 


Guest speaker:

Pippa Palmer is Director and Founder of environmental systems change consultancy, Polln and Research Strategist at LSBU's School of Built Environment & Architecture

Pippa's early career centred on developing go-to-market and customer engagement strategies for household name blue chip clients, before turning her attentions to more sustainable brands. Latterly she uses her bespoke behavioural economics and process analytics model - Ghosts & Gaps - to deliver actionable insights for organisations facing the challenges of the Climate Emergency, such as the UK's net zero transition, decarbonisation of our housing stock, and clean energy adoption. As former Managing Director of the charity, SolarAid, Pippa is still retained to advise on the rapid scaling of decentralised energy and home solar across sub-Saharan Africa, exploring the emerging intersection between fair sustainable market building and consumer subsidy models to meet the needs of those the market will leave behind.  

Closer to home, as an ‘accidental academic’, Pippa's has conducted extensive research around the intersection of the behavioural, markets and technical challenges of the net zero transition, first on new homes and more recently on retrofitting the UK's existing stock. Her academic retrofit research portfolio at LSBU includes Retrofit Skills for Lambeth Borough Council, Retrofit Market Development and Channel Strategy in Retrofit, Retrofit Customer Journey mapping, and a toolkit to help Social Housing Landlords communicate retrofit to residents.  

Pippa's consultancy, Polln, is a proud partner of the National Retrofit Hub, where Pippa co-chairs the NRH Work Group 3: Workforce Skills and Strengthening. Pippa's most retrofit research brings together 'Ghosts & Gaps' insights from a wide range of retrofit funding pilots which are already helping inform new approaches to resident and community engagement. 

Webinar 4: The London Net Zero Neighbourhoods Cohort - delivering London’s NZN’s of the future

This session aims to raise awareness about the innovative cross tenure based financing solutions being explored to deliver housing retrofit across London.

The cohort sits within the London Councils Climate Programme, under the Green Economy theme, led by London Borough of Hounslow and has close synergies and interdependencies with the GLA’s Future Neighbourhoods 2030 programme. A key consideration of this initiative is to ensure that the new financing is leveraged to achieve a fair and just transition to Net Zero across London. This is crucial as it addresses the pressing need for sustainable and inclusive urban development, ensuring that the benefits of housing retrofit and the journey towards Net Zero are equitably distributed, promoting environmental and social justice in the broader context of London's urban landscape. 

Guest speakers: Wayne Stephenson, Director of Environment and Climate and Steven Wilding, Head of Net Zero Neighbourhoods and Green Economy at the London Borough of Hounslow. Wayne has been leading Hounslow’s pioneering approaches to addressing the Climate Emergency since early 2021, and has 30 years environment management experience in Local Government. Steven is a Programme Manager with over ten years’ experience programme management including Tideway DCO, Post 2012 Olympic Regeneration, Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 and Hounslow Green Recovery Strategy. Steven has played a critical role in managing Hounslow’s ambitious Net Zero Neighbourhoods Programme from concept to implementation.  

Webinar 4 - The London Net Zero Neighbourhoods Cohort - delivering London’s NZN’s of the future