Retrometer – SIF project

A consortium of partners including Carbon Co-op, Energy Systems Catapult, Electricity North West, ep Group and Manchester City Council are pleased to announce the start of the Alpha Phase of the RetroMeter project. The project is developing a standardised approach to metering energy savings from domestic retrofit projects. RetroMeter aims to create an advanced monitoring and verification (M&V) system for UK retrofit, so that householders and housing providers can measure the success of energy efficiency works and quantify the actual savings achieved. 

This project is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem and and managed in partnership with Innovate UK. This project addresses SIF Round 2, challenge 4: Accelerating Decarbonisation of Major Energy Demands: Improving energy efficiency at all levels in the system. The Alpha Phase follows on from the Discovery Phase that ran through the first half of 2023.

Energy efficiency is considerably more attractive for consumers with home retrofit measures providing health and comfort benefits in addition to reductions in volatile energy bills. Historically, however, high capex has hampered consumer investment in residential retrofit, leaving them reliant on limited subsidy programmes or supplier obligations seen as a regulatory requirement rather than a business incentive.

Established ‘pay-for-performance’ (P4P) schemes in the US offer a compelling solution. In using advanced M&V techniques to accurately baseline energy usage, aggregators sell pooled savings from retrofitted homes to long-term finance providers in return for upfront investment in the cost of retrofit. This spreads the consumer’s costs, enabling them to experience the multiple benefits of energy efficiency upfront; meanwhile the finance provider generates returns through savings.

This approach – Metered Energy Savings (MES) – could unlock massive investment in UK retrofit and has been subject to considerable sector attention. The Alpha Phase will further develop the methodology for measuring energy savings, and prepare for the first MES demonstrator project in the UK, piloting baselining methods and verifying savings in a live retrofit scheme in Manchester.