Workshop on Future-proofing flats: overcoming legal barriers to energy improvements in private flats

This event was held in London on the 17 March 2015 and organized by Westminster Council, Professor Susan Bright of New College, Oxford and Future Climate to focus on what has hitherto been an under-explored issue: the legal and consent barriers to the promotion of energy saving improvements in blocks of flats, with a particular focus on private sector blocks. Funding for the event was provided by the University of Oxford’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) block grants, and Westminster City Council.

The objective of this seminar was to raise awareness and reach a common understanding of if and how freeholder/leaseholder arrangements pose a barrier to energy efficiency upgrades in England, and to identify possible solutions. Twenty five delegates attended the event including lawyers, academics; surveyors; judges from the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber); representatives of the energy efficiency industry (manufacturers and installers of energy saving measures); the government Department for Energy and Climate Change; local authorities; and representatives of property owners.

The event identified priorities for policy makers and wider stakeholders. A fuller report of the event will be published shortly, and a series of follow up workshops is planned.