It’s what happens after the Green Homes Grant that matters

It’s what happens after the Green Homes Grant that matters

Russell Smith, Director of RetrofitWorks, the growing, not-for-profit co-operative, established to improve the UK’s existing housing stock in an environmentally friendly way through Trustmark accredited repairs, maintenance and improvement works, discusses why joining the Retrofit Movement for the longer term is vital for the environment, our homes and our businesses


It’s what happens after the Green Homes Grant that matters


I’m sure this special Energy Efficiency issue will be jam-packed with contributors putting the Green Homes Grant under the microscope, dissecting its pros and cons and debating its merits and shortfalls, especially when it comes to the impact on the door and window sector. As the leading authority on championing environmentally friendly domestic RMI, RetrofitWorks will of course be supporting the Green Homes Grant, but we will be exclusively working to the higher standard PAS2035 which requires the use of an independent, accredited Retrofit Co-ordinator who can offer impartial advice and ensure that works are being done well. I fully accept we may be alone in this intention but in our opinion, the Co-ordinator role will be essential to any longer-term success of any scheme. And I deliberately use the words ‘longer term’ because collectively, we should be setting our sights beyond April 2021 and what happens when the Green Homes Grant comes to an end.


April 2021: The launch of the UK’s National Refurbishment Programme  

The £2billion that Government has committed to spend by the end of March 2021 is a drop in the ocean of what is actually needed to meet the carbon reduction targets that have been set. We need to be moving faster and harder, following a longer-term strategy to get houses renovated to mitigate man-made climate change. On the other hand, the pledge offers a big amount of money in a short time period, and the supply chain – already struggling post-lockdown – could well not be a position to fulfil it. The government says the scheme could create up to 100,000 jobs, but analysis we’ve carried out with leading UK think-tanks to tackle retrofit for the climate crisis, shows we need to create more than that – up to 270,000. More than short-term cash injections, we need support from the government to be able to create more jobs, such as comprehensive training programmes and independent accreditations schemes to get Retrofit recognised, appreciated and endorsed as the valuable market sector it is. Here’s the true scale of the challenge we face to mitigate climate change:


The Facts

  • The UK has committed to being Net Zero by 2050 but there is a 20% possibility that we will break the critical temperature threshold of 1.5oC by 2024
  • 27 million UK homes will need upgrading to achieve the legally binding Net Zero target
  • Our homes use 35% of all the energy on the grid and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change.
  • More than 80% of existing homes will still be standing and occupied in 2050; building 250,000 new homes per year only adds 1% per year to the stock and reduces domestic emissions by 0.3%, so simply building new zero carbon homes will not get us close to the target


A plan for every home

This is precisely why we’re working with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to develop a National Refurbishment Programme, that we hope Government will adopt from April 2021 This would be a practical long-term plan to follow the Green Homes Grant. Key building blocks are dedicated leadership, driving a clear plan to provide genuine expertise to every homeowner. This de-risks such a large undertaking and should gain Treasury support. The heart of the movement would be an energy efficiency plan for every home because each house and its journey is unique. This plan would be navigated with the support of an impartial Retrofit Co-ordinator which we believe are absolutely vital for both the short-term to deliver the Green Homes Grant, but also crucially for the longer term National Retrofit Programme.


RetrofitWorks is currently recruiting Retrofit Co-ordinators who will be integral in helping us deliver the National Refurbishment Plan. We are looking for people with a professional background in the surveying or designing of domestic properties, or those with supervisory or management roles in contracting organisations. Email if you’re looking for a new challenge and are keen to be a part of the Retrofit Movement.


For more information or to find out how your business can benefit from joining the growing Retrofit movement, visit or call  0330 123 1334

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