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Retrofit for All – Making Energy Efficiency Schemes Work For People

29th April, 2:00 pm3:30 pm

We explore people-centered approaches to energy efficiency schemes and release a practical toolkit to assist scheme managers.

In this webinar, we will present research findings from Retrofit for All, an Electricity North West funded project that explores people-centered approaches to energy efficiency schemes in the context of energy vulnerability.

A majority of energy efficiency schemes aimed at people experiencing energy vulnerability have been undertaken utilising Energy Company Obligation funding (ECO), more recently Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery, as well as some being self-financed by Local Authorities and Housing Associations. These schemes have often used contractors who work on a national scale and use long subcontracting chains to undertake works. In the light of retrofit disasters such as Preston and Grenfell and numerous other accounts of poorly undertaken work, the current approach is being questioned.

Much important work has been done to improve how schemes are delivered, for example through the development of retrofit standards such as PAS2035 and PAS2030:2019. However, without addressing systemic factors such as limitations around government funding, issues around procurement and the construction industry, and problematic attitudes towards those in poverty, we may not see the changes needed to build better and end fuel poverty.

In the current context of increased economic hardship, rising inequality, and government stimulus for a post-COVID-19 green recovery, addressing these issues and finding ways to make schemes work for people in poverty is more important than ever.

This project does not address all of these issues. However, it experiments with changing one aspect of energy efficiency scheme delivery in an attempt to shift culture. We explore what happens if we turn our approach to designing retrofit schemes on its head, rather than working to the needs and priorities of a funder or existing supply chain, we ask first: what would a successful energy efficiency scheme look like from the point of view of a resident-client experiencing energy vulnerability?

In this webinar, Carbon Co-op Engagement Lead Aneaka Kellay, presents her research findings in exploring this question. We will also release a toolkit that details advice and practical recommendations to support Local Authorities, Registered Social Landlords, and others to design energy efficiency schemes for people.

This event is particularly relevant for anyone planning or managing energy efficiency schemes, particularly:

  • Local Authority officers (especially those working on Affordable Warmth, Housing, and Low Carbon/Climate Emergency strategies)
  • Housing Associations and Registered Social Landlords
  • Community and Charity organisations working on energy efficiency and/or fuel poverty

Many thanks to Electricity North West for supporting this work.