UK Green Building Council

Retrofit for homes

Refurbishing the existing housing stock will be key to reducing the UK's carbon emissions so that we can acheive our ambitious carbon reduction targets.

Our existing housing stock

The UK’s housing stock is amongst the least energy efficient in Europe, and is responsible for nearly a quarter of our annual carbon emissions. In recent years, this has driven an ever-increasing focus from both Government and the private sector on finding ways to help households save money on their bills, reduce their emissions, and make their homes warmer and more pleasant places to live.

Home energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority

In the run-up to the 2015 General Election, UK-GBC is collaborating with 19 other charities, environmental groups and trade associations to raise the profile of energy efficiency and challenge the parties to make bold commitments in their manifestos. Together we are calling on all political parties to:

  1. Make home energy efficiency a top infrastructure priority
  2. Support investment with a long term revenue stream
  3. Achieve 1 million deep retrofits each year by 2020

At a Parliamentary event in June 2014, this broad coalition published a joint report setting out these three asks and summarising the economic benefits of energy efficiency retrofit. Download the joint report. If you would like more information about this campaign, please contact Richard Twinn.

Policy on domestic retrofit activities

The Coalition Government’s flagship policy to tackle home energy efficiency is the Green Deal. Launched in January 2013, it enables homeowners to have energy saving measures installed at no up-front cost and repaid through a charge attached to their energy meter. The Green Deal is complemented by the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, which offers cahsback to householders for installing measures. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) works alongside the Green Deal and provides additional support for low income households.

Beyond energy efficiency, the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are designed to encourage the retrofit of small scale renewables in homes. The former, launched in 2010 has been enormously successful, with significant levels of take-up from households across the UK. The RHI was opened to households from June 2014 and offers subsidies for measures such as solar thermal and heat pumps.

How we've been involved

Finding ways to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s homes, and to reduce emissions from this sector has long been a focus of the UK-GBC.

In 2008, a Task Group was convened to help inform the Government’s Low Carbon Homes Strategy, delivering the Low Carbon Existing Homes report. This was followed in 2009 with a Task Group that focussed on how retrofit could be financed. This led to the production of our Pay as You Save report, which played a significant role in informing the early development of the Green Deal.

Since the launch of the Green Deal, we have conevened Task Groups examining demand drivers for retrofit and the cost of Green Deal Finance. We continue to be involved in the development of the scheme and regularly participate in stakeholder groups on the subject.

Information for homeowners

If you are a homeowner looking for information about how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home, you can visit the Energy Saving Trust website or contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.

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