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The argument for retrofit
The evidence continues to grow that climate change is happening, and although a few still argue that this is not due to human intervention, the vast majority now accept the ‘inconvenient truth’ that we are responsible and we need to do something to deal with what President Obama recently called ‘the greatest threat to our future and future generations’. Octavia Hill the founder of Octavia Housing and the National Trust was only too aware of the need to protect the environment. Today housing contributes 25 per cent of carbon emissions, and solutions exist to significantly reduce this if there is a collective willingness to act. Retrofitting our homes would not only reduce the impact on the environment but directly benefit people living in these homes, providing more disposable income and improving their health. This in turn boosts the economy and reduces the burden on the Health Service. Today the retrofit industry is stagnating: we are living under a false belief that energy prices will continue to drop, that fracking is the future and that in these challenging financial times retrofitting is a luxury we can do without. Octavia Housing, inspired by the spirit of Octavia Hill, takes a different view and encourages others to do the same.
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