The challenge

Our homes are responsible for a quarter of the UK's carbon footprint, and yet total carbon emissions from them have fallen just 6% since 1990. Improving their energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways to cut emissions. Four in five UK homes are privately owned, but so far no-one has succeeded in delivering large-scale projects to retrofit these efficiently or effectively. The Government’s Green Deal was designed to do this alongside a number of other initiatives, but there are still many challenges to overcome.


What we did

For the Refit West project we worked very closely with a small number of pioneers in Bristol and the West of England as part of our work to make it the most sustainable city-region in the UK. These homeowners lived in different types of housing but were all committed to increasing the energy efficiency of their properties.

Our approach began and ended with the homeowner: providing information on the most appropriate and cost-effective options for their property in response to their personal motivations; designing solutions to meet their needs; ensuring suppliers deliver quality and value for their money; and working to build trust and confidence in this emerging market. Alongside Refit West we worked to develop innovative financial mechanisms to enable homeowners to access and invest the required capital costs of retrofitting any home for energy efficiency.

We shared our experience and insights of the customer journey with government, industry, local government and civic society to help shape their response to this urgent issue through our Refit West report, which highlights areas that need to be addressed by the Government’s Green Deal scheme as well as other solutions necessary for change.



Refit West was a pioneering scheme led by Forum for the Future which has helped private homeowners reduce the energy and resource consumption of their homes by developing a model to retrofit whole houses, informing and progressing the national debate.

As part of this project we worked with the Energy Saving Trust to carry out detailed technical analysis on a number of properties. This resulted in detailed case studies for three properties. We used and compared the outputs from the SAP 2005 and SAP 2009, and where possible compared these modelling tools with actual energy data. The total project costs are included but not broken down by measure.

People involved in this project

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