Nearly every home in the UK has the potential to use less fuel for heating, lighting and appliances. To support home and building owners with understanding how they can make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable, Greater Manchester has set up Your Home Better, a one-stop-shop to support people with advice, finding contractors, as well as overseeing installation.
The average UK home emits about 4.5 tonnes of CO₂ per year. The 1.2 million homes in Greater Manchester are responsible for about a quarter of Greater Manchester’s carbon emissions. This is compounded by the current challenge created by the increases in energy costs, which will impact upon everyone across the country. With household energy bills predicted to rise to around £2,500 in October 2022 and potentially further in the future.
Greater Manchester has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2038. This target is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver substantial carbon reductions, economic, environmental and health benefits for our people. We see retrofit as one of the important elements in supporting us to reach this target.
There are a wide variety of ways in which we can upgrade homes to tackle our carbon emissions while also reducing our energy costs, some examples include Solar PV, external and internal wall insulation, better sealed windows and doors.
Such energy saving upgrades are known as retrofitting and change an existing building in ways that save energy, such as adding insulation, or in ways that generate energy from renewable sources, such as fitting solar panels, or both.
Your Home Better aims to support home and building owners in understanding and deciding upon which of the variety of retrofitting options available will best support them to,
deliver the performance they need to achieve a more energy efficient, healthier and comfortable home.
To support home and building owners with taking the first step towards understanding the options available to them and the costs and savings that are possible. Greater Manchester is providing independent Basic House Plan or a Whole House Plan. The level of advice needed depends on the property and the knowledge the house or building owner already has about retrofit.
The Basic House Plan costs £120 to the home or building owner and focuses on supporting the owner in seeing and understanding the energy efficiency measures available. This includes a focus on what is suitable for reducing energy usage and carbon emissions for their home/building.
The Whole House Plan cost the owner £450 and gives every customer a bespoke Whole House Plan for their home/building, produced by one of Greater Manchester’s retrofit experts. The plan includes a 30-minute consultation with a retrofit expert to discuss the options available and possible next steps.
By supporting the able to pay market to better understand the options that are available to them, the project aims to help the market to grow in a manageable and sustainable way. The consultants will work with those in the retrofit market to line up high quality and qualified trades people to deliver the work. This approach will give those companies the ability to plan longer term for theirs and the wider sector needs. Enabling the required investment in training and recruitment, while also enabling businesses to grow in a sustainable way.
This approach is reflected in the outputs the project has planned for the first year, in which we expect to see 400 people take up the service offer and start to plan and deliver certain retrofit upgrades to their property. At the end of the year, we will review the impact of the support for home and building owners and the sector as a whole and if the results reflect the need, we will look to expand the offer.
How is the approach being sustained?
Greater Manchester has planned to review the impact of the scheme on an annual basis. If the review indicates that the project has seen those involved take up retrofit upgrades to their properties and seen businesses’ able to gain quality work and develop medium to long term business plans, then greater Manchester will consider expanding the offer to reflect local need.