London to Retrofit Public Buildings for Reduced Emissions
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, announced a new project last week to cut public buildings' energy use by 25%. Contracts were awarded for the first stage of the project, in which 42 public buildings will be retrofitted for energy savings over the next ten years.
The Greater London Authority is the first city in the Clinton Climate Inititative's C40 group of large cities to begin the process of retrofitting public buildings to reduce energy usage. The project is part of the Energy Efficency Building Retrofit Program, announced last May, which brings together 4 energy service multinationals, 5 of the world's largest banks and 16 of the globe's largest cities.The idea behind the initiative is to create economies of scale by retrofitting a large number of buildings in various cities, thus providing profits for multinationals and banks and energy savings for cities. Cities are offered a package deal including planning assessments, supply of goods and services and optional financing.
In London's case, where commercial and public sector buildings currently account for around a third of London's greenhouse emissions, the £10 million contract is expected to produce energy savings of £1 million a year, thus paying for itself over 10 years.
According to the Financial Times, the deal is also expected to create a global market for retrofitting buildings, as additional public and private sector building owners join the project in London, as well as in other cities where similar projects are in the works. Mike Taylor, the vice president of Honeywell, one of the two multinationals to win the London tender, was optimistic, saying his company intends to win contracts under the initiative in all of the C40 cities.