Introduction to RetrofitWorks
RetrofitWorks is not-for-profit cooperative seeking to create a self-sustaining market to transform the poorly performing existing housing stock of the UK. The existing housing stock is responsible for a significant proportion of UK carbon dioxide emissions, increasing energy bills for occupants and in some cases the cause of ill health and discomfort. The building industry has been unsuccessful in delivering the significant change required and our new, transformational business model is starting to succeed with exciting times ahead.
There are many benefits that arise from improving older homes, and a cooperative works well as a trusted organisation that all stakeholders own a share of. A multi-stakeholder cooperative with members including small to medium enterprises, community based organisations, councils and other organisations brings both the supply and demand side of the market together. RetrofitWorks is run for and by each local community, building on existing local supply chains and services, and ensuring more economic and social value – wealth, jobs, skills – is retained in the local area. It has achieved this with two groups of members that drive and deliver not just energy efficiency services but moving into deeper retrofits:
Practitioners: Those seeking work be they trades or professions.
Advocates: Organisations representing the interests of groups of householders or tenants. They understand needs and want to develop the market for retrofit to help them.
It is this unique joint ownership that enables a ‘ground-up’ collaboration to be built to transform neighbourhoods.