News and Blog
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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
Date: Thursday, 14 September 2017.
Venue: Southbury Leisure Centre, 192 Southbury Rd, Enfield EN1 1YP
There will be three main audiences for the event:
- Enfield residents who are currently unemployed (including NEETS);
- Enfield residents interested in apprenticeship and training opportunities
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
Have you heard about the newly launched London Boiler Cashback Scheme?
Launched by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Mayor of London, it offers London based homeowners a £400 voucher towards replacing ‘F’ and ‘G’ rated boilers with a new energy efficient ‘A’ rated boiler. If it has a pilot light it’s likely to be eligible.
RetrofitWorks are offering the opportunity for householders to use local contractors at local prices and avoid the potential of paying more than you should, as suggested in Money Saving Expert – click here to view full article.
The boiler voucher is claimed in advance of works but only once a quote has been received from an accredited installer. To give the customer extra confidence in the scheme we are able to provide three quotes from local contractors from one visit – or potentially via email if we can collect sufficient information from the customer in advance. This ensures competitive pricing.
The key here is that there is a first come first served voucher issue process – and we saw what happened to that under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund and just before Feed-in-Tariff cuts to solar PV work – the lists get filled quickly.
The voucher offer is running until 31st March 2016, subject to availability.
We therefore urge all interested homeowners to apply asap, to avoid missing out.
To find out more and apply, click here of call us on 0330 123 1334.
RetrofitWorks are working with The Retrofit London business support programme, which provides up to 12 hours of FREE expert advice and support to small-medium sized enterprises in the Construction, Property Management and Green Building Products sectors – based in Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest or Lewisham.
For Construction Sector businesses such as general builders who install solid wall and cavity wall insulation, heating and plumbing outfits installing energy efficient boilers and central heating systems, double glazing installers, micro-power generation specialists and professional services such as architects, energy assessors – any SME business providing energy efficiency solutions to property owners –
The Retrofit London Programme can help you Gain Access to Contract Opportunities in the Energy Efficiency Retrofit market by:
• Giving you information about contracts and building projects
• Make introductions to property owners, larger clients and supply chain leaders
• Help you get accreditations such as PAS 2030, CHAS, or Constructionline – some contracts that we bring to your attention will require these types of accreditation in order for you to be considered – For example, if you are already registered on Constructionline we can still help, with seminars and one-to-one advice to make your Constructionline profile more effective
• Help you prepare effective PQQs and tenders
• And also help with Marketing, Staff Training and Qualifications, and Financial Management
The Retrofit London business support could help you qualify as an Installer on jobs funded by Smart Homes, and onto approved supply chains.
(The Smart Homes grant scheme is available subject to conditions in Haringey, Hackney, Islington, Waltham Forest, Camden and Enfield. Click here for further information).
We are also running a Constructionline workshop early in the New Year.
We support innovative Green Building Products businesses such as StoneRad (providers of energy efficient decorative stone radiators), Pure Fuels (providers of bio-diesel fuels from recycled cooking oils for building heating, electricity generation systems and road use) and Ritec International (manufacturers of specialist glazing treatment products) – to help them raise the profile of their products and extend market reach in the property upgrade market. If you are a business providing Green Building Products and would like some assistance to strengthen your market reach please do contact RetrofitWorks.
For Property Management businesses such as lettings/managing/estate agents and landlords who are operating as a business –
The programme can help you access funding for energy efficiency improvements to your property portfolios:
- Get to grips with funding processes for Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Smart Homes, Smart Business, RE:NEW, Home Improvement Fund, etc
- Understand regulatory requirements – why landlords will need to invest in energy efficiency retrofit
- Evaluate and prioritise your property portfolio for property upgrade works
- Understand the options to help you make better investment decisions
- Source quality suppliers for technical assessments and installation work
Benefits of property upgrade:
- More secure rental incomes when tenants have lower heating bills
- Fewer complaints and disrepair cases
- Shorter void times with a warmer more attractive property
- Improved asset value
- Legal compliance to avoid penalties
Did you know that under Government proposals properties in the private rented sector must attain a minimum EPC Rating of “E” after 1st April 2018 (for new tenancies), with penalties of £1,000-£5,000 for non-compliance? This will also apply to ALL tenancies from 2020.
If you are a small-medium sized enterprise in the Construction, Property Management or Green Building Products sectors – based in Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest or Lewisham – we hope that you will take up the opportunity of this valuable business support programme.
To take full advantage of the FREE advice, guidance and support on offer from Retrofit London –
Contact RetrofitWorks on 0330 123 1334
Furthermore, if you or your organisation know of SMEs that may be interested in benefiting from joining the Retrofit London Programme, please get in touch with us at RetrofitWorks to work with us to spread the message.
The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) is making changes to the 2007 CDM Regulations.
HSE’s stated objectives behind the proposed changes:
- Maintain or improve worker protection
- Simplify the regulatory package
- Improve health and safety standards on small construction sites
- Implement the Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD) in a proportionate way
- Discourage bureaucracy
- Meet better regulation principles
- Key changes
- Replacing the CDM-C role with the Principal Designer (PD)
- Changes to the threshold for appointment of co-ordinators
- Changes to the threshold for notification
- Replacing the CDM-C with a PD
The aim of changing from having a CDM-C to appointing a PD is largely driven by the desire to meet the requirement of the TMSCD which requires pre-construction co-ordination. The PD will be responsible for:
– Planning, managing and monitoring the pre-construction phase
– Ensuring that where reasonably practicable, risks are eliminated or controlled through design work
– Passing information to the Principal Contractor (PC)
– Ensuring co-operation and co-ordination
– Ensuring designers comply with their duties
– Assisting the Client in preparing the pre-construction information
– Preparing the health and safety file
Who are or who are likely to be designers?
The CDM Regulations says:
“Designer” means any person (including a client, contractor or other person referred to in these Regulations) who in the course or furtherance of a business –
a) Prepares or modifies a design; or
b) Arranges for or instructs any person under their control to do so;
relating to a structure or to a product or mechanical or electrical system intended for a particular structure, and a person is deemed to prepare a design where a design is prepared by a person under their control
Changes to the threshold for the appointment of co-ordinators
TMCSD requires the appointment of co-ordinators wherever there is more than one contractor. The consultative document aims to set out clearly as part of its proposed guidance sensible and proportionate arrangements for co-ordination of smaller projects which fall within the scope of this requirement. It goes on to say that it is expected that the PD role will be discharged by the person responsible for the design work, which may be a contractor, an architect, an engineer etc. The belief is that there should be more effective co-ordination, particularly of smaller and poorly managed projects involving significant health and safety risks.
Changes to the threshold for notification
Under the proposed changes a project is notifiable if construction work lasts longer than 30 working days AND has more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project or exceeds 500 person days. So in practice it would be possible to have a project on site for say 40 working days with the maximum number of persons on site not exceeding say 12 (max possible 480 person days) or 60 days with 8 workers (max possible 480 person days).
Because of the introduction of the ‘and 20 persons’ element to the revised notification threshold, it is likely that less projects would be notifiable under the proposed changes.
- Replacing the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) with guidance.
- Replacing the explicit requirement for individual competence and CDM’s explicit requirement for corporate competence.
- Clients duties include domestic Clients.
- It is important to remember that these proposed changes are only proposed and therefore, details can and often do, change.
For review of current regulation requirements, see:
RetrofitWorks’ opportunities include Green Deal and ECO funding projects.
As part of the consortium successfully bidding to service the works contract, our membership has opportunities in the six north London boroughs that will receive Green Deal Community funding totalling £6.4 million. We are excited about this opportunity and intend to capitalise upon these funds for the benefit of our membership. We need to assess our potential members for capabilities and certifications, and we have compiled this survey for you to complete : LINK
We have a tight deadline upcoming to address tender opportunity presented to us by the fund administrators. The works being tendered largely mirror Green Deal measures, but there are also other opportunities which we feel will benefit all membership profiles of the RetrofitWorks cooperative. The profiles noted include both professional and installation services, and new roles such as ‘Retrofit Coordinator’. Funds will be allocated among six councils; Haringey, Hackney, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Camden, and Islington.
Our cooperative is designed to allow you to easily tender for work at a price that you decide, with no obligation on you to comply with a framework. Our profiling is also designed to help you if you feel you can do the work but may not necessarily have experience or the most up to date certification – we have access to funding and discounted resources to help you get the final certification at discounts.
RetrofitWorks offers a unique approach to addressing the UK building stock’s inefficiencies. In Tottenham, London, on 16th July 2014, RetrofitWorks’ launch event speeches and interviews gave great insight into how our innovative organisation is transforming how communities work with local skilled retrofit trades and building professionals.
We are particularly grateful to the community groups and property owners that worked alongside Trade Associations and Professional Institutions to identify the need for this transformational model, and point to how we might structure the cooperative to best serve its members and the market.
To join the cooperative, please see the become a member section of our website.
RetrofitWorks’ software portal soft launched this October with full system launch in November. The software has been developed for RetrofitWorks in conjunction with VRM Technology (vrmtechnology.co.uk), and the soft launch gave our software developers the chance to get feedback from our Advocates and Practitioners.
We shall be detailing the enhanced capabilities of our software in the coming weeks – our goal is to improve upon current retrofit management software solutions and provide best in class innovation to our members, aiding with all aspects of works management and audit. VRM Technology’s software also features new functionality for RetrofitWorks, centred around making communication easy for our clients, with pricing and diary scheduling integrated in one solution.
RetrofitWorks will use resolver (resolver.co.uk) for helping our members provide excellent client care and clear issue resolution.
resolver provides consumers with a single place to raise and resolve issues. One place, one process and all key services. The service is available online, on iPhones, and on iPads. resolver has over 1,500 companies across 65 service sectors covering off all key companies in those market sectors in its system. RetrofitWorks will soon be launching a link on our website to resolver, so that the solution becomes the consistent space that clients and members go to engage and resolve issues.
We are excited to work with resolver in designing our customer care processes. Our systems will ensure that the client or member follows a guided complaints process and process flow ensures that those with issues engages with the right person at the right time. resolver keeps a complete and accurate record of the case, making it easy for the client to follow the process.
RetrofitWorks will gain customer feedback at each touch point on how the issue is being dealt with. The service is free to our members and clients. resolver does not sell customer data or market to them and there are no adverts on the software portal.
RetrofitWorks will set the benchmark how an organisation delivers quality services and resolver will allow us to compare how we are doing across the market – with reporting and improving on customer care providing a continuous feedback and ensuring a quality driven process.
This summer we are seeking member companies who are willing to work with us in Haringey to trial the following stages on one of your projects:
The home has an energy assessment carried out to identify the most appropriate energy efficiency measures.
We work with you to add to your existing project. This is your job, and you direct it, the Coop supports your job. We will find others locally to work with you to offer the additional energy efficiency or renewables measures identified in the energy assessment that you’re unable to provide.
Allow RetrofitWorks to ease the management of the job and access finance or grants on your behalf where possible.
The trial is looking to test various aspects of the cooperative structures and process’s and to offer extra resources to so so – by taking part you will not be slowed down in any way. There is no charge to your client for this additional service and you will be helping to develop the RetrofitWorks Cooperative business model.
A flyer can be downloaded here for circulation if required: Haringey Trial House Flyer