Retrofits: Solving the home energy efficiency problem

17/06/2024
3 Mins. Read

Without a doubt, if given the opportunity, every homeowner on planet earth would make their home more energy efficient. However, the issue isn’t in the want of the people – rather  the question of, where do homeowners start?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that climate change has been a hot topic in recent years. With all the negative headlines and lack of spotlight aimed at solutions, it’s understandable why homeowners are still hesitant to take matters into their own hands and action their home retrofit journeys. In fact, UK Energy Poll suggested the following reasons have a part to play in the matter:

  1. Upfront costs – Two-thirds of people did nothing to improve the energy efficiency of their homes in 2023, due to upfront costs.
  1. Lack of incentives – 1 in 10 people believe they are not worth the investment.
  1. Knowing who to trust.

 

Lack of Information

It’s critical to break this down and understand why consumers feel this way. If we revisit the ‘want’ element, the numbers would suggest people do in fact want to improve their properties. In 2022-23 the repair, maintenance and improvement market, turned over an estimated £29 billion. According to KPMG, one of the immediate reasons driving this market globally is ageing housing infrastructure.

Consumers are simply under informed on the benefits of retrofit solutions and are unaware as to what is available to them. Whether it is the local trade store, builders merchant or contractor, the issue occurs when a homeowner is faced with representatives who don’t have all the answers and businesses equipped to sell one thing rather than a multitude of solutions required to make a property more energy efficient. 

 

Responsibility of the industry

As representatives of the industry, here at Digital Buildings we believe that buyers need to feel like they are getting something back from their investments. Simply put, they need to be made aware of exactly what and how. We believe that lenders should be incentivising all homeowners to improve their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating through providing green mortgages.

With the introduction of last year’s Consumer Duty regulations, the wheels are in motion, with lenders having to prioritise their responsibility to provide their consumers with the best and correct information.

 

Working with brokers and lenders

This is where we come in, working with lenders, brokers and landlords to provide the consumer with a legal framework from the get-go, taking on accountability for actioning their retrofit into reality. Digital Buildings provides the knowledge and professional support they need to understand how they can begin their journey to improved energy efficiency in their home in four main steps:

  1. RetroPlanner – Our home planning tool to map out a customised, interactive and costed digital replica for achieving greater energy efficiency in a home. From the start consumers are able to see which measures have the biggest impact and greatest financial return.
  1. RetroAssure – Organised home assessment carried out by our TrustMark approved assessors. Followed by a consultation, specification and supplier contracting service.
  1. RetroVerify – A trusted quality assurance framework that coordinates the contractors for managing energy efficiency improvements.
  1. RetroHealth – An energy monitoring service for controlling cost and reporting on the energy efficiency of your home.

Addressing energy efficiency concerns requires informed action and we are working to empower homeowners to retrofit effectively, reducing carbon emissions in the long run.

 

Next Steps

Digital Buildings have already announced their relationship with H&R Building Society and we are expecting to make several more significant announcements this year. Find out more here: https://digitalbuildings.co.uk/

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