People Powered Retrofit

We're working with Carbon Co-op in this BEIS funded project to develop local supply chains for whole house retrofit across Greater Manchester. This is one of six pilot projects in England. It aims to develop localised capacity to deliver retrofit works and inform future government policy and approaches.

Led by Carbon Co-op and URBED, the partnership includes Arc4, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Quantum Strategy and Technology, Fieldwork Studio and Shortwork along with Electricity North West, Ecology Building Society and Greater Manchester Green Growth

Together we'll be researching, developing and testing the potential for a new householder-led approach to domestic energy efficiency works in the owner-occupied and 'able to pay' sector. You can read more about it in a blog on the Carbon Co-op website here


Project blog

19.08.2019, 18:13
Advocating a 'bottom up' approach to retrofit

After completing the research phase of our work with Carbon Coop on 'People Powered Retrofit' in Spring 2019 we have published a joint report on our findings, available here

Key recommnedations for central and local government and community energy organisations include: 

  • Taking a local approach, engaging with householders and existing supply chain networks via a trusted community intermediary, is an effective way to build a market for domestic retrofit. 
  • It's not all about financial payback! Householder purchasing decisons are influenced by a number of interlinked issues such as quality, disruption, potential health benefits and wider social values. 
  • The delivery of retrofit for owner-occupier householders is a complex service, resistant to automation and purely technological approaches. It's about people as clients, not housing archetypes. 
  • Creating a local retrofit market requires an integrated neighbourhood-scale local economic development approach, building on existing networks and partnerships. 
  • Historic forms of Local Authority lending could be repurposed to secure wider social value from new local retrofit markets. 


Over the next two years we plan to pilot a new 'People Powered Retrofit' service for householders in Greater Manchetser, working with Carbon Coop in target neighbourhoods, with retrofit works expected to start this autumn.