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Baker Homes Blog

Retrofit makes sense when it’s done street-by-street: here’s why

Posted by John Stapleton on 18-Nov-2022 15:45:00

Last week Baker Homes and SHIFT member Orbit Group, one of the largest housing providers in the country, managing over 37,000 homes from the Midlands to the south east, were featured on a BBC report on energy efficiency.Being a SHIFT member, Orbit are aware of the scale of the challenge in ensuring that, in the face of rising energy bills, residents can live in warm, comfortable homes.

Up and down the estate in Wellesbourne, near Warwick, contractors were busy installing external insulation, boilers and new doors to the 1950s solid-wall homes that will mean residents will save around 20% on their bills. Improvements could not come soon enough for some residents, some of whom not only struggle to pay their bills but have problems with condensation.

(To view the BBC video report, click the image)

The works really brought home how crucial it is to do retrofit work on a neighbourhood scale. Here’s why:

It’s cheaper Without having been obliged to do so, Orbit offered the same works to private homeowners on the estate who had exercised their ‘right to buy’. This does not necessarily need to be subsidised: economies of scale mean everyone pays less.

It’s easier Having works take place all in one go is easier to manage, and means less disruption

It’s tangible It’s much easier to persuade people to buy-in to the work if it’s happening in a nearby street, and the prospect is real rather than theoretical

Getting all of the UK’s housing stock up to EPC ‘C’ would be a big step forward – and, as a report described recently, achieving this by 2035 will be a big enough task in itself. But, as John Barnham from Orbit argued, if we are going to cover off both rising energy prices and our 2050 obligations we need to ‘future-proof’ our homes. That means a deep-retrofit, at scale to a high ‘B’ or ‘A’ rating. Let’s get on with the job.

To read the full BBC report, click here.



SHIFT conference, health and housing, housing associations, over heating, condensation  


Topics: Registered Social Landlords, Retrofit, Insulation, Energy Efficiency, Residents, Bills

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