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Accelerating retrofit for a carbon neutral future

In Greater Manchester, we have set a challenging target of a carbon neutral city-region no later than 2038. Urgent action is needed to put us on a pathway towards achieving this goal which must include tackling the residential component of carbon emissions.

Housing Advisers Programme case study

2019/20 cohort

What went in 

As all Greater Manchester local authorities declare a climate emergency, it’s more important than ever to tackle the residential component of carbon emissions”

- [GM Stakeholder]

  • Greater Manchester (GM) has declared a climate emergency and set a target for a net zero carbon city region no later than 2038.
  • The residential component of carbon emissions must be tackled to meet this ambitious target.
  • To support this, we need a better understanding of current conditions of the 1.2m homes across the city-region, and the potential for carbon retrofit across that stock.
  • GMCA received a £49,980 grant from the Housing Adviser’s Programme to secure expert advice to model this need and opportunity for domestic retrofit in GM.
  • This required bringing together a variety of modelling techniques examining the energy performance of GM’s housing stock and home safety risk.
  • Work was completed over 12 months, with in-house project management support (0.25 FTE) provided by GMCA.

What came out

  • The ‘Accelerating retrofit for a carbon neutral future’ project has delivered a validated housing stock data baseline for all 1.2 million homes across Greater Manchester, including an energy model for all stock. This provides a high quality baseline for our current stock which can be used to model future scenarios for energy and CO2 modelling.
  • It is a crucial first step in delivering a Retrofit Accelerator to logically assess the degree of energy efficiency retrofit possible, understanding the levers to deliver this and working in a completely different way with partners to accelerate deployment.
  • Importantly, the project has set a local benchmark for housing stock in GM providing a base to monitor future progress. The data has been pivotal in determining current stock conditions and identifying areas with pockets of poor-quality housing by tenure types to support operational activity led by local authority colleagues.
  • A series of co-production and dissemination activities have been held for the project, including presentations to the GM Green City Region Partnership and five workshops with stakeholders to inform the housing stock development.
  • Presentations to Leaders and senior management were held to raise the profile of the project, gain buy-in and ensure wide use of the project outputs.
  • The project has provided unrivalled evidence for developing business cases to unlock investment opportunities for housing retrofit.
  • We have already benefitted from this, as the data has been used to support funding bids to the Government’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme (Phase 1A), to help identify the scale and number of households eligible for the funding. The evidence helped GMCA, together with our local authorities, secure a grant of £4.7m to support the retrofit work on over 300 properties.


Steve Fyfe

Head of Housing Strategy, GMCA

[email protected]