About Harrogate Retrofit
Our retrofit aim at Zero Carbon Harrogate (ZCH) is to help reduce carbon emissions related to powering and heating homes in the Harrogate district. There are some 30 million homes in the UK which account for 21% of the country’s total carbon emissions - and three quarters of that is down to heating of homes. By retrofitting homes with better insulation and low carbon forms of heating, we will be closer to achieving the UK Government’s current net zero target in 2050.
There are around 67,000 homes in the Harrogate district, most of which will require some form of retrofitting to meet the net zero target.
The various building trades involved will need training to retrofit homes and homeowners will also need some support to develop an understanding what form of retrofitting is suitable for their home
Earlier this year, ZCH won a fund of money from the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme from the Energy Saving Trust, to help pay something toward training the building trades in the Harrogate district, along with assessors and coordinators.
Key to this training and indeed the retrofit work carried out on homes, is that it adheres to Pas2035 standard. This standard, when applied to retrofit plan ensures that each individual building has been taken into consideration and work carried out will benefit the efficiency, but not harm the fabric of the building. Click here for a more detailed look at Pas2035 and how it applies to the retrofit process.
What does retrofit mean?
Retrofit is simply the process of making changes to existing homes so that energy consumption and emissions are reduced. These changes should also provide the benefit of a more comfortable and healthier home with lower fuel bills and an overall reduction in carbon emissions. The changes to a building need to be appropriate for that building along with the occupants. Inappropriate changes may result in damage to the fabric of the building and cause health issues to those living in it. There are a set of standards that should be applied to all work carried out.
Skills and Awareness
Recently, in conjunction with Harrogate College, the first retrofit courses were launched, providing builders with an awareness of what is required to retrofit and encouraging them to become experts in this field, aligned to Pas2035. Soon to follow are courses training plumbers in the installation and maintenance of low carbon heating systems, such as air source heat pumps. Please visit Harrogate College for more information on retrofit courses, alternatively contact John Kerr, ZCH Retrofit Programme Manager.
Like the rest of the UK, Harrogate housing stock is very mixed, requiring different approaches to retrofit, one size certainly doesn’t fit all, and the inappropriate use of some measures may end up damaging the building and affecting the health of its occupants. Trained Retrofit Assessors will be able to provide a detailed description of a given building and how it is used. This will help draw up an appropriate detailed plan of retrofit work, the order in which it should be carried out and the likely benefits the work will bring. ZCH intends to help build a skilled local workforce, using training providers to upskill existing building surveyors and accredited domestic energy assessors, who can provide homeowners and landlords with retrofit assessments.
Once a detailed assessment of a home has been made, the Retrofit Coordinator can design a schedule of works appropriate for the building, in accordance with Pas 2035, which will form a specification for the builder who carries out the recommended work, including standards required. The coordinator would follow the work carried out and provide certification on completion. Homeowners can choose what level of involvement a coordinator might have in their retrofit project, however, to ensure that Pas 2035 standards are achieved, especially in intensive build programmes, this model is highly recommended.
Why Retrofit your Home?
Retrofitting your home will help lower energy bills and make your living environment more comfortable/healthier in both winter and summer. Considering the ventilation of your home will also bring health benefits.
Less energy used to heat your home will in turn reduce carbon emissions, helping our environment and slowing down global warming.
Government requirements on Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings are set to change in the future placing more responsibility on the homeowner/landlord for better energy performance..
Retrofitting is multi-faceted and can include insulating roofs, walls, and floors; replacement windows; improved ventilation design; airtightness works and more efficient heating and hot water systems. Renewables such a solar PV and thermal are also often installed during retrofit works, protecting homeowners from the full impact of increasing fuel prices and changes to fossil based fuels.
Current government legislation requires all rented property to achieve at least an EPC rating of D, this will be increased to C in 2025. In addition to this there are recommendations being made that mortgage lenders incentivise the purchase of more efficient homes, this alongside the current soaring of energy bills will make more efficient homes more valuable than those that are not. Already there are several Green Mortgage companies who offer incentives towards homeowners who improve the energy efficiency of their home.