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A total of £4.7 million has been awarded, over a period of two and a half years, to the 6 organisations that scored the highest according to the evaluation criteria set out in the grant call.
The project is a response to an assessment of the state of the market for owner occupier energy efficiency set out in the Building a market for energy efficiency Call for Evidence, which identified both the demand and supply side barriers to growth in the market for energy efficiency retrofit. Whilst separate policies are being pursued to stimulate consumer demand, these pilots will aim to address supply side barriers and reduce the frictions and challenges that prevent consumers following through with energy retrofit projects.
The project will aim to mirror approaches taken in other countries to stimulate the able to pay market by focusing on addressing non-financial barriers, building skills in the supply chain sector, and providing a joined up/ one-stop shop or ‘concierge’ service for consumers. This approach has recently been trialled in Scotland in areas such as Peebles, and in Denmark through the Better Home project.
The ultimate aim of this project is drive retrofit in local areas. However, as this is a pilot project, we recognise that it will take time to drive up levels, and a key purpose of the project is to act as a learning exercise and as a template that could potentially be replicated at a broader scale.
The pilots will test 6 different approaches for increasing the rates of energy efficiency improvements in non-fuel poor homes, particularly alongside renovation work, by providing support for local supply chain integration and project coordination.
The pilots began in November 2018 and are due to finish in March 2021, with the exception of BRE HomeWorks, which concluded in October 2020.
Grant award recipients – project summaries
|Name||Location||Approach / model||Description|
|Centre for Sustainable Energy’s (CSE) FutureProof||West of England||Charity led engagement||Futureproof’s model for the local supply chain demonstration project is to target ‘early adopters’: people who are interested in high cost energy efficiency measures such as solid wall insulation but are yet to act (for a variety of different reasons). Their main aim is to build awareness, trust and create a smooth customer journey through five elements: segmented marketing, home owner support, open homes demonstrations, supply chain skills improvement and quality assurance. The project is led by CSE with partners Bristol City Council, the Green Register and Greenhouse PR.|
|Carbon Co-op/ URBED’s People Powered Retrofit||Manchester||Householder-centred||Carbon Co-op’s approach is data driven, using community-based social marketing model and inspired by case studies from the US Better Buildings programme. They will be carrying out GIS data analytics and mapping of the Greater Manchester area to identify the best areas to target deep retrofit services. They will then use a variety of community-based social marketing approaches to build awareness and demand for retrofit in these areas, empowering householder action and offering a comprehensive end-to-end service for managing the retrofit jobs. They will take a ‘bottom-up’ approach to supporting and training a supply chain for retrofit, with an emphasis on a householder-centred approach to quality assurance. The project is led by Carbon Co-op/ Urbed with partners Arc4 Limited, Quantum Strategy & Technology Ltd, Fieldwork Labs Ltd, Cumbria Action for Sustainability and ShortWork Limited.|
|BRE’s Homeworks||Cornwall||Data-led supplier referral||The goal of the HomeWorks project is to enable SME builders who carry out the majority of repair, maintenance and improvement works to easily make referrals for energy efficiency retrofits to other tradespeople. HomeWorks is aiming to do this by designing an app that tradespeople can use that will manage referrals to other trusted installers and offer financial incentives to them for every referral made. The project is led by BRE with partners Trustmark, PLMR and E.ON.|
|Parity Projects’ Retrofit Together||London||Collective Purchase||Retrofit together will aim to secure discounts for London residents interested in carrying out energy retrofits through a group buying scheme. The discounts will be achieved through a reverse auction of works to the supply chain. Marketing will be targeted to the relevant property-owners following analysis of the local housing stock and behavioural research. The project is led by Parity Projects with partners RetrofitWorks, Icaro and the Behaviouralist.|
|Low Carbon Hub’s Oxfordshire RetrofitWorks||Oxfordshire||Community Engagement||Oxfordshire RetrofitWorks’ approach will be to build demand for energy efficiency retrofit by working with local community groups who have already successfully run small scale projects across Oxfordshire and broader campaigns with trusted brands. Communities will be key to engaging with householders and acting as a conduit to the model. Oxfordshire RetrofitWorks will work with existing networks of energy efficiency installers and offer training courses for retrofit coordinators. Working in partnership, National Energy Foundation and Low Carbon Hub will be using the RetrofitWorks cooperative model to link community groups and owner occupiers to trained and trusted installers.|
|Retrofit Works’ Warmer Sussex||Sussex||RetrofitWorks co-op||Warmer Sussex is aiming to develop the ‘RetrofitWorks’ cooperative model of linking suppliers and key advocacy organisations in Sussex. They are carrying out detailed analysis of the local area to identify the best homes to target to get initial volume of works. They will work closely with Citizens Advice to generate leads for work through their existing advice service and will develop a financial offer for consumers by building on Brighton and Hove Energy Services Cooperative’s existing pay as you save offer. The project is led by RetrofitWorks with partners Citizens advice, Hastings Borough Council, Arun District Council, Brighton and Hove Energy Services Cooperative and Parity Projects.|