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Decarbonising Derbyshire’s Housing

Support and funding have been available in Derbyshire to retrofit homes in the social housing and private rented sector, and to homeowners in fuel poverty through several funding mechanisms including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the Sustainable Warmth Competition.

This case study is a part of the LGA's Regional Retrofit Action Planning programme (LRAP)


Decarbonising Derbyshire’s Housing

According to the UK’s Climate Change Committee, the UK’s legally binding climate change targets will not be met without the near complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from UK buildings. Emissions from UK homes accounts for around a fifth of total UK emissions. Direct emissions from UK’s 29 million homes reduced by about 17 per cent from 1990 to 2020, although this has not been a steady reduction. Emission reductions have recently stalled with energy use in homes increasing between 2016 and 2017. Between 2022 and 2050, emissions from residential buildings need to fall to zero at a rate of 3.4 per cent per year based on current emissions levels.

Support and funding have been available in Derbyshire to retrofit homes in the social housing and private rented sector, and to homeowners in fuel poverty through several funding mechanisms including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the Sustainable Warmth Competition. Additionally, an energy advice helpline is also available to all residents.

However, little work is being done to support homeowners who are not in fuel poverty, many of whom would like to increase the energy efficiency of their home but are unsure of the steps to take for their property and personal situation.

Around 60 per cent of Derbyshire’s homes are EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rated D or below indicating that they are poorly performing and demonstrating the scale of the housing decarbonisation issue in Derbyshire. Almost a fifth of homes in Derbyshire are not on the gas grid and are often heated using less efficient oil or LPG. Overall, households in areas with less deprivation emit more greenhouse gas emissions and arguably should be a focus for a housing decarbonisation initiative in order to have the biggest impact on emissions reduction.

Against this backdrop, officers from local authorities across Derbyshire agreed to collaborate to engage residents to understand what support is needed to enable them to make their homes fit for the future. Officers received training and support on community engagement and subsequently developed an engagement plan which set out to understand:

  • How had homeowners already improved their homes?
  • What the barriers were for communities to do more?
  • What type of support did they wanted?
  • What ideas they had to move the agenda forward?

Recognising that reducing carbon emissions in Derbyshire is not something that councils can do alone, the engagement will result in a co-designed programme of activities to support the retrofitting of homes which will be co-delivered by local authorities and community groups.

District, borough, and county councils undertook engagement activities across the county including group and individual online meetings and consultations and face-to-face events either with structured questions or a more general discussion from which key themes are identified.

Template questions

Q1. Do you… Own and live in your home / Rent your home privately / Rent your home from a housing association/ Own and rent out a home (as a landlord)

Q2. How would you describe your home? Detached / Semi-detached / Terrace / Flat / Park Home / Other

Q3. When was your house built? Built before 1930 / 1930 to 1966 / 1967 to 1982 / 1983 to 1995 / 1996 to 2011 / 2012 or newer / I don’t know

Q4. What is your house built from? Made from stone / Made from brick / Other

Q5. What is the Energy Performance rating of your home? (Find out if your home has an ‘Energy Performance Certificate’)

Q6. Have you made any energy efficiency improvements to your home in the last five years? Yes or No

Q7. Would you be interested in adding efficiency measures into your home? Yes or No

Q8. From the list below, what is stopping you from making any (or further) improvements to the energy efficiency of your home? (Please select your top three reasons) – I don’t own my property / Not sure where to start, I need advice on how to make my home more energy efficient / Energy efficiency work is too expensive / I might not live in the house long enough to get the benefit of the investment / I don’t have the time needed / Lack of qualified and experienced tradespeople to do the works required / I’ve had advice but I am not sure I trust it / I don’t think it will add any value to my property / I’m worried about getting it wrong and making expensive mistakes / I live in a listed building, conservation area or national park and there are restrictions on what I can do / I’m not concerned about the energy efficiency of my home / Other

Q9 If you have any ideas on how we can work together to improve Derbyshire’s existing homes so that they are more energy efficient and fit for the future, please give details below: OPEN TEXT BOX

About you section: Insert demographic questions that are entirely voluntary, and residents are not required to answer. The purpose of these questions is to understand the views of different demographic groups and of people living in different areas of Derbyshire.


The outputs are being collated to provide a single overview and to develop a programme of activities moving forward which will be co-delivered by councils and communities to support homeowners.

The insights from the engagement told us that businesses with the skills and experience to retrofit homes are already under high demand from the work generated by the social housing retrofitting programmes. This proves there is a need to develop the supply chain and give businesses the confidence to invest in training and skills development. To address this work is underway with relevant stakeholders to address this market failure to promote skills and training development and to give the sector confidence to invest in this area.

Early analyses of the feedback show several key themes emerging:

  • Provision of a One-Stop Retrofit Shop or advice centre providing impartial advice, retrofit assessors, and potentially retrofit coordinators.
  • Coordination of Eco-Homes open days potentially focusing on Derbyshire housing architypes.
  • Bulk purchase of materials by the Council to enable savings to be passed on to households, e.g. insulation, solar panels.
  • Derbyshire housing architype case studies and good practice guidance.
  • Recommended retrofitting traders through a Trusted Trader scheme.
  • Local information provided through a website
  • Expo showcasing event held for local retrofitting companies.

The next steps are to take the draft Action Plan back to Derbyshire’s residents for comment and approval.