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Energy Efficiency Measures for Homes – Reducing Energy Costs and CO2

Overview of Retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency (using PAS2035)

Energy used to heat our homes represents a significant and increasing expense.  It also constitutes a significant part of our greenhouse gas emissions in the UK – with 19% coming from heating homes and workplaces (Source: Reducing UK emissions – 2018 Progress Report to Parliament).  In order to meet the government’s net zero commitments by 2050 – over 27 million existing dwellings in the UK will need to be fitted with Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs).

The UK government commissioned a report on the effectiveness of home energy efficiency measures in 2015 called the ‘Each Home Counts (EHC) Review’.  The report was critical of the effectiveness of the individual measures approach to improving energy efficiency.  Installing individual measures often did not result in the intended benefit.

Recommendations from the EHC Review were used to form the current standard for retrofitting dwellings in the UK – the PAS2035 (Publicly Available Specification) standard was published in 2019. This is used in conjunction with installers guidelines – the PAS2030 standard.

The standard is designed to assess the whole house, then identify appropriate energy efficiency measures and their potential costs, benefits and risks. A plan is then devised as to the order and number of retrofit measures in discussion with the dwelling owner or occupier. Also, the effectiveness of the measures is assessed to make sure they are in line with the predicted benefit.

For a practical six page guide to the process of retrofitting, how to fund your improvement measures and some useful links – click here

How do you find an accredited Retrofit specialist for your local area?

A local company based in Lutterworth operate a UK wide accreditation scheme for energy assessors and provide training.  This includes certification, registration and software for Domestic Energy Assessors producing Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and training/accreditation for PAS2035 Retrofit Specialist Roles.  You can search their trade register by type and area via the Elmhurst Energy home page.  Their useful overview explaining the PAS2035 Retrofit Assessor role can be found in this short YouTube video.

You can also find Accredited Retrofit Assessors, Retrofit Coordinators and qualified Installers of individual energy efficiency measures, in a local area, using the UK government’s Trustmark website which you can search by profession and location.

Experience of retrofitting home energy efficiency measures locally

There are many ways to approach improving energy efficiency.  Each household will have their own unique requirements based on a number of factors – as highlighted in the guide to PAS2035 above.  Sometimes it helps to read what a specific household has done (over a number of years) – especially one that is in the Harborough District.  This one is owned by a longstanding specialist in the eco sector who has achieved “~100% net Carbon-neutral living, ~50% zero-miles food and 100% carbon-free car travel.”

For a summary of some of the many practical solutions to retrofitting energy efficiency measures – click here

Sustainable Harborough Community (SHC)

SHC are a collaborative not-for-profit organisation, working together with environmental groups and concerned individuals across the Harborough District and beyond.  They aim to effect change at the individual, local, national and international level – to make a difference in matters of sustainability and climate change.  SHC regularly meet, campaign and inform local people to help us all tackle the climate crisis togetherIf you have any ideas, suggestions or questions around Energy Efficiency and Retrofitting Homes you might want to contact / join their Climate Action Group.   

You might also want to subscribe to the main SHC weekly mailing list (full of inspiring sustainability news), become a member of SHC or maybe just browse to find a few practical tips via their home page:  Sustainable Harborough Community (SHC)

Still not sure where to start your journey towards net zero including home retrofit?  You can contact Harborough Energy via: