Reaching net zero requires a retrofit revamp in UK’s homes, says new report


The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has launched a new paper ‘Getting (retro)fit for net zero’, which focuses on the challenge of retrofitting the UK’s homes to ensure that they align with meeting the country’s net zero targets.

The UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050, includes decarbonising the housing stock, which is amongst the coldest in Europe.

Though the Green Homes Grant is a welcome down payment on retrofit investment the report states, we need a step change to set ourselves on a path to net zero homes.

James Griffiths, author of the report said, commented: “Making our homes fit for the future is a vital enabler of the net zero transition, but existing policy isn’t driving the required action.

“We must stop tiptoeing and start striding towards net zero through policy that better reflects our diverse housing stock, aligns retrofit with local energy planning and provides homeowners with long term clarity.

“We must seize the opportunity and build on the momentum generated through the green homes grant scheme to create a sustained retrofit programme that firmly sets us on the path to net zero.”

James Griffiths, author of the report

The paper sets out five steps that will align the UK’s approach to retrofit with reaching net zero.

According to the paper, key to success is setting targets which better account for the diversity of the homes we have that optimise local opportunities for heat decarbonisation and provide homeowners with clear long-term plans.

To drive action the Association calls for ambitious policy targeting natural opportunities for upgrades, including the sale of a property or major renovation, and a rising trajectory of strongly enforced minimum standards.

Guy Newey, Director of Strategy & Performance, Energy Systems Catapult, commented on the report: “Energy Systems Catapult supports this important paper from The Association for Decentralised Energy.

“It provides a set of powerful recommendations to help tackle one of the major challenges the UK faces if we are to meet our climate change targets; how to decarbonise the UK’s housing stock.

“Ideas such as Local Area Energy Planning and rising building standards are essential if we are to unlock the innovations we need to deliver comfortable, healthy, low carbon homes that are affordable to run.”