News and Blog

Jobs, Apprenticeships and Careers fair – Thursday 14th September

FREE TO ATTEND, NO NEED TO BOOK IN ADVANCE.

RetrofitWorks are working with Enfield Council to deliver a ‘Jobs, Apprenticeship and Careers fair’ to feature the 5 chosen growth Industry Business sector forums:

  • Food industries
  • Green and Sustainability Industries
  • Health & Social Care
  • Construction Industry
  • Transport and Logistics

Event Details

Date: Thursday, 14 September 2017.

Time: 10:00-15:00.

Venue: Southbury Leisure Centre, 192 Southbury Rd, Enfield EN1 1YP

Audience

There will be three main audiences for the event:

  1. Enfield residents who are currently unemployed (including NEETS);
  2. Enfield residents interested in apprenticeship and training opportunities
  3. Enfield residents keen to progress within their current role or who wish to develop in another sector

In addition to stands in the main hall of the Leisure Centre there will be a seminar room in which attendees will be able to learn about CV writing skills, interview techniques etc.

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE.

 

Community Energy London Event

RetrofitWorks were delighted to attend an event at the Greater London Authority (GLA) on Wednesday evening 28th June, open to anyone with involvement or interest in community energy.

After an opening welcome to the event from Syed Ahmed, of Energy for London, Leonie Cooper AM, Chair of London Assembly Environment Committee made some very interesting comments focussing on a report released in May 2017, by the London Assembly entitled “Getting Warmer The Mayors Role in Domestic Energy & Fuel Poverty” which is well worth a read!

Dr Giovanna Speciale, Director of South East London Community Energy (SELCE), one of our RetrofitWorks advocate members, then spoke about a research project which surveyed existing community energy projects across the country.  The key message being that London has both additional challenges, such as the complexity of tenures and uncertainty of buildings lifespans, the lack of consistent support from Local Authorities, low levels of social capital, and lack of coordinated support.  London also however has unique opportunities, with carbon offsetting funding being a potential option for funding future projects and the role of the GLA who are releasing their Environment Strategy at the end of July this year, to outline their supporting plans in community energy and retrofit.

Finally, we heard from Afsheen Rashid, Chair of Community Energy England, which was founded in 2014 to lobby and create a voice for community energy, as well as build cross sector partnerships.  RetrofitWorks is a proud member of Community Energy England, which now has over 200 members. An interesting statistic from Afsheen, was that for £1.9m of funding invested in community energy, this has leveraged a further investment of £190m, an amazing figure which shows the value for money in community projects.

New RetrofitWorks website launched

After several years we thought it was time to retire the old RetrofitWorks website and replace it with a slicker, more responsive website.

So what’s new?

We’ve refreshed the website content and introduced a more dynamic blog so that we can keep you informed on what were up to and other useful insight into the retrofit industry we think is worth sharing.

We have also tailored our core audiences more, by focussing on our advocate and practitioner (trades) members.  We hope our new website helps advocate members understand how they can work with us and support our work to deliver energy efficiency services.  Furthermore, increasing our practitioner members network is a key priority for us, as we develop more schemes in the future, and expand our geographical service offering.

Finally, we have also introduced a case studies section, where we show case the installation works our practitioner member’s carryout, and show case how we develop and deliver specific schemes within certain areas.

We know how busy you are but if you have a minute, have a browse and see what you think. We’d welcome any feedback and thoughts.

RetrofitWorks latest retrofit scheme for vulnerable householders in Enfield

Late 2016 and early 2017 was dominated by Enfield Boroughs Warm and Healthy Homes scheme*.

This scheme was part of the Warm and Healthy Homes Fund, a £26.2 million pound innovative Great Britain-wide programme administered by NEA.  The programme as a whole benefited 1,000 households in areas of high fuel poverty and deprivation across England and Wales.

RetrofitWorks were the delivery partner organisation for Enfield Boroughs Scheme, who was one of 10 schemes set up across England and Wales to deliver the overall programme.

The scheme targeted vulnerable householders within the borough of Enfield with a grant of up to £4k to upgrade heating and/or insulation measures to eligible individuals who are at risk of cold‐related illness, have a disability or meet the responsibility for children criteria and are at risk of, or living in, fuel poverty.

RetrofitWorks, working with HEET, delivered £200,000 of energy efficiency work under the scheme to 59 properties.  This exceeded our original target of 40 properties, due to the high quality referrals made by our own installer members.  Householder leads were also made by HEET and front line Enfield Borough staff and organisations including Enfield CAB, private sector homes team, GPs, respiratory nurses, health trainers, public health and social care colleagues and social housing, co‐ordinating with the CCG.

The scheme was an overall success and we have gained a lot of knowledge and enhanced our customer service skills as a result of working with vulnerable householders.

*The scheme closed 1st April 2017.

Improving Customer Service

To our delight, one of our valued advocate member organisations – who are a social landlord in South London – invited a member of the RetrofitWorks team to attend a day’s training on consumer service.

Of course, we snatched up the opportunity to improve our customer service skills, found the day very informative and picked up a few new tips.  The training course involved looking into the principles of the Mary Gobber International approach for customer service, which suited us as it’s not based on scripted responses.  The approach involves having a positive, enthusiastic and helpful attitude while taking on ownership and responsibility to deal with customer enquiries.

The day filled us with confidence that we are already taking the right approach with our customer service and are very thank-full to our advocate member for thinking of us and letting us attend their training day.

We truly value the relationships we build with our advocate members, and wanted to share this story to show the benefits of working together collaboratively to deliver the best service in retrofitting customer’s properties using local qualified contractors.

New RetrofitWorks Advocate Members

We are pleased to announce our most recent advocate members as follows

  • South East London Community Energy (SELCE) – South East London Community Energy is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Formed by residents of Greenwich and Lewisham who want to play an active role in shaping the energy future of South East London, SELCE is taking action to combat climate change through generating renewable energy and tackle fuel poverty by providing advice and support for those struggling to pay their fuel bills and keep their homes warm in winter. We are working with SELCE on an upcoming ECO2t scheme…more details to be announced soon.
  • Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) – Sutton Housing Partnership manages council housing in Sutton. They aim to bring investment and improvements to homes across the borough. We are working with SHP to deliver loft insulation installations to their tenants properties.
  • Optivo (previously Viridian Housing) one of the largest housing providers in the UK, providing 44,000 homes & 90,000 people in London, the South East and the Midlands, somewhere affordable to live. We have a three year programme to deliver secondary glazing and draught proofing measures, through their Home Energy Improvement contract.
  • Repowering London – A not-for-profit organisation that specialises in facilitating the co-production of community-owned renewable energy projects. We are working with Repowering London to deliver a local retrofit scheme, funded by community feed-in tariffs.

Aereco Manufacturers launches new quality standard accreditation

 

Aereco, manufacturers of demand controlled ventilation, are working with RetrofitWorks to find reliable suppliers to work under their soon to be launched, quality standard accreditation.

If you become a certified partner with Aereco, they will provide free design advice, training and support, regardless of the size of the project.  Your client will receive work delivered under the quality standard, providing them with reassurance and an extended guarantee.

If you are interested in developing a long term relationship with a well-established, but growing manufacture, to deliver passive humidity sensitive ventilation solutions, please contact us now.

We have recently worked with Aereco on a few projects, and found their product to be reliable and valued by the client.

Aereco offers several lines of products that can be implemented in various systems, from natural and hybrid ventilation to mechanical exhaust and heat recovery ventilation.

STBA offering Masterclass on Surveying Retrofitted Buildings

The Sustainable Traditional Building Alliance (STBA), are running a Masterclass entitled ‘Surveying Retrofitted Buildings’, details below;

Date: 18th October 2016

Venue:  The award winning Cullinan Studio building, The Foundry, 5 Baldwin Terrace, Islington, London N1 7RU. 

Time:  2.00pm to 6.00pm, followed by drinks & networking until 7.00 pm.

This Masterclass is being led by, Richard Oxley and is aimed at anyone planning a retrofit or needing to assess the existing retrofit of an older building. The Masterclass will cover many issues and potential conflicts including determining the current condition and performance of the building, how not to exacerbate existing problems and avoiding new problems for the building.

If you are a member of RetrofitWorks, you are offered the partners’ reduced price of £90 for attending this course.

To book your place(s), email Debbie at info@stbauk.org or call Roger on 0207 704 3503.  Please quote your five digit RetrofitWorks membership number which beings 100XX.

Numbers at each event are limited. 

AGM Success

RetrofitWorks held its first successful AGM on the 14th June 2016, and was kindly hosted by the London South Bank University, Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB).

The event was well attended; with over twenty members present and key retrofit industry supporters.  It provided valuable information for members, with speakers from the industry as follows;

  • Dr Aaron Gillich, research fellow at the School of the Built Environment & Architecture, London South Bank University, who talked about a recent research project, which evaluated retrofit schemes from around the world. Interesting lessons were discussed.
  • Dr Hazel Pettifor, Senior Research Associate at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, presented on value propositions for energy efficiency decisions. It was an interesting insight into people’s attitudes to energy saving works and the motivations for different segments of society.

The AGM itself was a success, with members voting on the new board of Directors.  It was announced that one Director had previously retired, Paul Reeve of the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) and two Directors stood again, Russell Smith of Parity Projects and Paul Bogle of the National Federation of Builders.  Both Russell and Paul were voted back onto the Board, and a new board member joined the team, Tony Rose of Ecologic Energy.