Plan Retrofits to Maximise Savings

Baz Iyer

September 7, 2023

Good retrofits require planning

UK homeowners that want to reduce their energy bills can invest in several different forms of retrofit:

  1. Measures to reduce energy demand. The addition of insulation, air sealing, glazing and heat recovery ventilation to a building can nearly eliminate its heating needs, and offers very long term economic and health benefits. More efficient homes need smaller and lower cost heating systems, and cost less to heat or cool.
  2. Changes to heating systems. While electricity has traditionally not been a cost effective fuel source for heating, recent high gas prices have made heat pumps a viable alternative to gas boilers. As a decarbonising grid enables low cost electricity, heat pumps will become significantly cheaper to run for all homeowners.
  3. On-site electricity generation. Recent high electricity prices have made residential renewables compelling without further subsidies. On-site generation or storage makes sense for homeowners who want to guarantee long term electricity prices. Community solar offers alternative pathways to low cost renewable electricity. Both improve the economics of heat pumps, particularly if installed in an efficient home.

Clearly, many possible combinations of measures are possible.

Whole home retrofit plans enable homeowners to confidently select the best set of measures for their home - by using a model of how a building gains and loses heat energy, and scientifically simulating different combinations of interventions.

How we help homeowners plan

To construct an energy model of your home, we need to know your building’s dimensions and orientation, how its constructed, and what systems exist today. This may seem like a lot of information - but construction is costly and permanent, and planning ahead is important to avoid mistakes.

A trove of public information is available on our homes. We can often build a good approximate view of how your home behaves using satellite imagery, and either historic EPC data or data from similiar homes. To get a precise plan, we need to remove assumptions wherever possible. This can be done through additional evidence in the form of documentation of improvements, energy bills, and data collection from physical sensors.

Once we build a model of your home, we can simulate the impact of different improvements. This enables use to test different retrofit options - for example, we can comparing switching immediately to a heat pump, versus first making efficiency improvements or installing solar.

Whole home planning is a must for homeowners that want to make smart, data-driven view on how to improve their home. Our goal is to incentivise the right decisions, and provide homeowners with a fully funded retrofit plan tailored to their needs. By aggregating and connecting sources of capital and homeowner demand, we plan to unlock sustainable investments in energy efficient homes.

Photo by Greg Rosenke, from Unsplash