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Vicky Wilding, Green Tech and Services Lead, GC Business Growth Hub and Green Economy

Retrofitting Greater Manchester’s existing housing stock is a vital step in ensuring we hit net zero by 2038. In this blog, Vicky Wilding looks at the scale of the opportunity and what this means for businesses in the sector.

Greater Manchester has a mission to be carbon neutral by 2038, and with a new 5-year environment plan set to launch later this year, you can expect to hear more about the collective need to decarbonise our energy networks, public services, businesses and transport networks.

Homes contribute 17 per cent to overall UK emissions

Homes and buildings significantly contribute to the overall emissions, specifically linked to how we heat our homes and buildings, how efficiently they retain that heat and how we can generate renewable energy locally and via the grid to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently the UK has the least energy efficient housing stock in Europe with over three quarters of existing homes in Greater Manchester requiring some form of retrofit – 887,000 homes in total. These numbers demonstrate the scale of the local challenge to achieve the ambitious net zero target, but simultaneously highlights the opportunity for installers and suppliers of green technologies and services to seize new market opportunities and grow their businesses.

The domestic retrofit market needs around 90,000 skilled experts to deliver a range of services that will assess existing housing stock, identify the specific solution for each property and then install and maintain those products to ensure ongoing effectiveness. The scope of this opportunity means the entire supply chain can benefit with new business for energy assessors, insulation, door and window fitters, as well as installers of green boilers, heat pumps, solar panels, EV chargers and more.

What is being done to drive domestic retrofitting in Greater Manchester?

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has brought together partners from across the city-region to work on the Feel the Benefit campaign. This entitles any homeowner, landlord or renter in Greater Manchester to speak to an expert about their property and look at ways to reduce energy use and access funding to help them invest in solutions that will increase the efficiency of their home. The scheme and others like Your Home Better are examples of some of the ways that people are being supported to take action to retrofit their properties by demonstrating the added value that efficiency improvements and green technologies can bring to their homes. Simultaneously local installers are set to profit by engaging with these schemes to service demand. 

How can local suppliers be part of city-wide domestic retrofit projects? 

A key challenge for the green technologies supply chain is finding out about schemes that help their customers to access their services. New frameworks, funding pools and national schemes, like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, Great British Insulation Scheme and Eco4, drive demand but can make the landscape confusing for homeowners and green tech suppliers alike. In addition, businesses need to manage fluctuating demand and collaborate with other local partners to provide integrated solutions and seamless customer service to their clients.

This is why membership of Green Economy is essential for any business currently working in this space. Not only does this create a pipeline of new sales opportunities for your business, along with an increased online presence, but we ensure our members understand the latest frameworks and business schemes so you can get on with delivering high quality for your customers. In addition, members can join networking events to meet and collaborate with other local businesses in the sector. 

Membership of Green Economy fully-funded for businesses in Greater Manchester through our programme for GM Business Growth Hub which is part-funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It’s quick and simple to join online and get your profile on our Marketplace ready to start winning new business. 

If you are a homeowner in Greater Manchester, find out if you’re eligible for free support to retrofit your home, by completing the online survey

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