Retrofitting Green Energy Solutions for Your Home

Are you living in a cold and draughty home that is expensive to heat? You’re not alone. Most Housing in the South Hams is EPC D or below, meaning it is poorly insulated and heated inefficiently.

To adapt to the climate crisis, it’s crucial that low EPC homes are ‘retrofitted’ to lower their carbon footprint, and stop relying on carbon-intensive fuels like gas or oil for heating.

Get Impartial Retrofit Advice from SDCE

Retrofitting a property can be a complex process, with an array of grants and funding options available.  You may have heard of schemes such as HUG2 or ECO4 but be unsure whether you qualify for funding.

Our qualified retrofit advisors can explain the various schemes and check if you are eligible. They can advise you on suitable heating and renewable energy systems for your property, and identify any home improvements (usually enhanced insulation) or repairs that may be required as part of the retrofit process.

If you don’t qualify for funding, we can help you to navigate the retrofit maze and may be able to offer a free retrofit advice home visit, with the option of a follow-up Whole House Plan (an energy improvement strategy for the entire house, based on best practise approaches and aiming for net zero energy demand).

The Retrofit Process

Retrofitting involves adapting and improving existing properties and usually involves 3 phases:

A qualified retrofit assessor will examine your property and establish what measures would be suitable, and have the biggest impact on reducing the Co2 output of your home (which by default will also lower your energy bills).

It’s essential that the first step in retrofit is to make the fabric of the building thoroughly insulated. Think of a thermos flask – and how long it keeps a hot drink warm for compared to a standard cup.

A well-insulated home will hold heat in (or keep heat out in the Summer) and cost significantly less to heat or cool as a result. It’s therefore standard practise in Retrofit to focus on insulation as a first step. This might include topping up loft insulation, installing or improving cavity wall insulation (CWI technology has improved greatly and many of the past problems with its use are no longer an issue), underfloor insulation, and in some cases external wall insulation.

With increased insulation, comes the need for improved ventilation. Buildings function differently once they are thoroughly insulated, and it becomes essential to ventilate them adequately, to avoid problems with condensation, damp and mould. Your property may need another extractor fan, window trickle vents and other measures that improve airflow around the property.

Sooner or later, we all have to change the way we heat our homes.

All properties in the UK will eventually have to transition away from using Gas for heating, hot water and cooking and switch to using (hopefully renewably generated) electricity. There is no planned cut-off date at present, but the sale of new gas boilers will be restricted from 2035, and it will be illegal to install them in new-builds from this date. The price of gas is very likely to increase as supplies dwindle.

The best solution we have for electrically heating most properties is an Air Source Heat Pump. Some properties can also generate the bulk of their own electricity from solar panels, leading to further savings.

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