A Manchester partnership has secured £186,000 of government funding to run a six-month project that will explore a new approach to domestic energy efficiency retrofit in Greater Manchester.
The People Powered Retrofit project, led by Carbon Co-op and URBED, is one of six initiatives nationally to receive funding to drive energy efficient retrofitting of domestic properties and support local supply chains.
People Powered Retrofit will take a new, more localised approach to creating a market for energy efficiency in Greater Manchester, using innovative data analysis and GIS techniques to map clusters of ‘early adopter’ householders around the city region who are most likely to take action but require support to overcome issues and concerns that are currently holding them back.
The project will also test a streamlined, whole-house retrofit service featuring a ‘Retrofit Concierge’ to simplify the retrofit and refurbishment process.
Jonathan Atkinson, co-founder of Carbon Co-op, said: “A key aim of People Powered Retrofit is to develop the market in Greater Manchester for domestic energy efficiency improvements and to support the supply chain to meet this demand.
“Previous [retrofit] programmes have focused on larger contractors delivering work in social housing and to combat fuel poverty. However, there is evidence of untapped demand for retrofit services among 'able to pay' owner occupiers. Existing Refurbishment, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) and SME contractors are ideally placed to take advantage of this.
“We take a whole-house approach to retrofit so that it might include insulation of floors, walls and roofs, building services, ventilation, solar panels and other technologies - focusing on quality of construction and the integration of service, and creating opportunities for both general contractors and specialists.”
Training for local contractors
The project is looking for contractors interested in working in this area and is running sessions in March and April to help local SME contractors access the ‘able to pay’ retrofit market and develop practical retrofit skills. For more information about these events, click here.