Carbon Coop Home Energy Training Programme

Principles of Retrofit training
Principles of Retrofit training
Retrofit Champions training
Retrofit Champions training
Project date
  • Energy
  • Retrofit
  • Training
North West England
Carbon Co-op
Associated team members
Associated documents

Building on our expertise in energy and retrofit URBED developed and delivered five courses as part of Carbon Co-op's Home Energy Training Programme:

  • Principles of Retrofit
  • Ventilation for Retrofit
  • Heating Controls
  • Routes to Retrofit
  • Retrofit Champions


Principles of Retrofit

Designed for householders planning refurbishment works, who would like to develop a better understanding of basic technical principles, this one-day course covered: 

  • Heat transfer mechanisms and U-values.
  • Properties and application of insulation, thermal mass, air-tightness, and ‘breathability’.
  • Understand key performance risks – cold bridging, leaks, indoor air quality and moisture.
  • Specification concerns – context and criteria.


Ventilation for Retrofit

Designed for householders planning a retrofit project, either staged or all in one go, this course helps participants to integrate ventilation planning in to their retrofit project to maintain a healthy breathable atmosphere and avoid damp and cold issues. It covered:

  • What is good indoor air quality, and how it relates to individual and building health.
  • Why proper ventilation is important.
  • What the building regulations say - in brief.
  • What different retrofit ventilation strategies are available.
  • What the pros and cons of different strategies are in retrofit.
  • Some of the technologies involved.


Heating Controls

An introductory course designed for householders looking to better understand their heating controls, or who may be considering changing to 'smart' systems in future and organisations working in communities to improve comfort and reduce bills. It covered:

  • What are the most common types of heating systems and controls
  • How to identify the type of control, typical installation costs and suitability
  • Advice on appropriate ‘smart’ or remote controls and apps
  • Practical demonstration/exercise on how to use the most common controls (e.g. manual and digital central heating programmer and night storage heater).
  • Troubleshooting


Routes to Retrofit

Routes to Retrofit was a two part seminar series on planning and delivering energy efficient retrofit for householders. Developed by Marianne Heaslip of URBED and industry professional Bill Taylor, these seminars were run regularly for Carbon Co-op and their members. Retrofit, and particularly whole house retrofit, can be complex. This course was designed to help householders understand what to prioritise, which professionals to appoint and how to approach contractors. It is ideal for:

  • Householders planning an eco-refurbishment or retrofit project who already know the kinds of measures their home requires and are seeking to take forward works.
  • Householders who have had an energy assessment completed and want to commission some of the recommended measures.

Together the seminars cover:

  • Considering objectives, priorities and getting the best result.

  • Looking at options for works and funding
  • Balancing time, cost and quality
  • Local Authority approvals, consents etc.

  • Which ‘professionals’ are needed and guidance on selection and appointment
  • Selecting and appointing builders (including contracts)
  • Examining common issues and avoiding them
  • Getting the most for the resources available
  • Exchanging ideas and energy with like-minded people – and sharing the pain!

"For anyone considering retrofitting your house to make it more carbon efficient and environmentally friendly, this is a brilliant workshop. I came away with far greater understanding of the field and inspired by what others are doing. The trainers brought the seminars to life with stories and pictures and also shared their extensive experience."


Retrofit Champions

Retrofit Champions was a course accredited by the Carbon Literacy project. It was designed to give attendees the knowledge and skills needed to motivate others in their community to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, reducing carbon emissions, improving comfort and reducing fuel bills.

This simple, two-part participatory course was designed to help householders, volunteers and professionals to confidently discuss energy efficiency and inspire others to find out more about retrofit, for example, when on a stall at a local event, in a meeting or workshop or with friends and family.

The course was designed around the Carbon Literacy standard four key principles of:

  • Local learning: this is achieved through looking at their own home as well as those in the region. There is a clear call to action on energy efficiency and retrofit from the global to the local level.
  • Delivery by peers: the course combines peer and expert delivery. In focusing on the home it encourages participants to relate back to their own circumstances. A Carbon Co-op member who has experience of retrofitting their own home is on hand to share their experience and assist with the delivery.
  • Group enquiry: The course format encourages participants to find their own answers and devise their own solutions through a combination of individual and group activities.
  • Positivity: Retrofit is a very positive approach to tackling climate change as well as delivering other benefits such as improved thermal comfort, reduced fuel bills and tackling fuel poverty. There are many barriers to the wider uptake of retrofit, these are referenced but the focus is on what help is available to empower people to make small or large changes to their homes (and wider community).


The training was accredited by the Greater Manchester Carbon Literacy Standard and those who successfully completed the course received a Carbon Literacy Certificate. 

Courses are run regularly by Carbon Co-op and are open to both members and non-members. A number of their webinar training sessions are recorded and available online. To find out more contact or visit the website:

Project blog

27.11.2017, 10:56
Principles of Retrofit

We held the first Principles of Retrofit training on the 25th November at URBED. Here are some pictures of our learners in action:


18.09.2017, 16:45
Retrofit Champions training

We held another course at the URBED office in November 2016. Here are some images of our learners in action.