Climate change is the biggest challenge we face, yet we lack a simple, affordable means of retrofitting our homes at scale. We believe now is the time to create a new ‘One-Stop Shop for Retrofit’, a whole house, domestic retrofit service, designed with and for the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.
Over the past two years, with the backing of BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and Friends Provident Foundation, Carbon Co-op and URBED have developed, tested and piloted People Powered Retrofit, our end-to-end service, designed for pioneering owner-occupiers. We have identified the key barriers householders face in their retrofit journey and implemented the services they need to help them overcome them.
We have developed the skills and experience necessary to make this service a success, putting together a staff team of advisors, assessors, coordinators, tutors, software engineers and architects. To support the householder service we have augmented it with a supply chain training business and innovative retrofit software development offer.
Our successful, two-year fee earning pilot has demonstrated that the ‘early adopter’ target audience is not dependent on financial incentives or Government grants and has budgets averaging £45,000, sufficient to finance works and recognise the importance of our service in achieving project outcomes. We’ve also shown demand is significant and thanks in part to the growing recognition of the climate emergency increasing.
This business focuses on ‘able to pay clients’ because there is clear demand but very little provision to support this sector, in contrast the social provider sector is addressed under numerous existing schemes and has very different dynamics. We acknowledge that much needs to be done to support householders living in fuel poverty but this requires a different approach, driven by government support and the fair redistribution of resources.
We spent a lot of time engaging with householders, understanding the barriers they faced to retrofit and testing how we might overcome them.
We carried out a mapping exercise, using open data sets to better understand people more likely to procure retrofit and plot where they lived in Greater Manchester.
We tested and piloted our approach at length, starting small scale and keeping and open and flexible approach. We used Service Design techniques, iteratively improving our work and engaging all stakeholders within the retrofit supply chain - including the clients themselves.
Number of contractors trained.
Number of home energy assessments carried out.
Number of retrofit measures installed.
Tonnes CO2/year saved.