Retrofit industry task group devises action plan to meet energy efficiency targets

26th March 2014

A new report from an industry group, released today, identifies the barriers the UK retrofit industry faces and has created an action plan to remove these barriers to increase growth and achieve the energy efficiency targets set by the Government.

The Energy Efficiency Partnership for Buildings (EEPB), an organisation which works with the industry, Government and the community on all aspects of energy efficiency in buildings, worked with independent charity The National Energy Foundation and retrofit businesses, including Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, to review the barriers and potential solutions to Whole House Energy Efficiency Retrofit.

Whilst it is well known that whole house energy efficient retrofit of homes has been shown to improve the energy performance by an average factor of four or within a range of between 65-95% compared with pre-renovation levels, difficult barriers to large-scale take-up and deployment remain.

The EEPB Whole House Energy Efficiency Retrofit Steering Group’s report, ‘Breaking Barriers: An industry review of the barriers to Whole House Energy Efficiency Retrofit and the creation of an industry action plan’, identified 415 financial and non-financial barriers that need to be addressed. These were grouped into eight main categories including economic, performance and political.

Luke Smith, Senior Energy Specialist at the National Energy Foundation, said:

“The purpose of this project was to determine barriers to whole house energy efficiency retrofit, understand what the industry and Government needs to do to overcome these challenges, and form a vision for the future. We’ve worked hard over the past 12 months to develop our two-year action plan, which specifies the working groups needed to implement the programme.”

Jade Lewis, Advocacy Leader for Saint-Gobain, added:

“At a time of limited growth in the renovation sector, our proposed strategy looks to improve this, which will also help both the industry and Government reach their energy efficiency targets. We are pleased to have been involved in this project and hope that our ideas are considered to help boost the industry and assist the Government in meeting its carbon reduction targets.”

The project mainly focused on homes, covering all sectors including social housing, private rented and owner occupied buildings. The study not only looked at current policy instruments, but also potential new ones, always with a long-term view in mind. The group now plans to adopt and implement the two-year action plan. Proposed actions include quantifying the true value of deep retrofit to homes, formally defining and developing the concept of whole home energy improvement plans and working with others in the industry to improve understanding of how best to communicate whole house retrofit to the public.

The report’s findings, which come in two parts, can be accessed via links below:

Breaking Barriers: Summary Report
Breaking Barriers: Literature Review