60 Percent of Homeowners Unaware of What Retrofit Is

In a recent YouGov survey, carried out by TrustMark, 60% of UK homeowners were unaware of what the term ‘Retrofit’ means (1). Of those homeowners who were aware of the term, 57% had not seen, read, or heard an explanation that could help them to understand it in detail. Overall, 53% of all homeowners were interested in knowing more and would welcome an easy-to-understand guide.

To help explain and simplify what Retrofit means, TrustMark, the only Government Endorsed Quality Scheme for works carried out around the home, has launched a helpful retrofit guide: A Guide to Retrofitting Your Home.

Retrofit is the process of making changes to existing buildings so that energy consumption and emissions are reduced. With energy costs rising by over 50% (2) and inflation running at over 6% (3), the increased pressure on household running costs makes improving the energy efficiency of homes a much higher priority. With 49% of homeowners planning to undertake home improvements in the next year, 19% cited energy efficiency measures, including wall insulation, double glazing, or installing a new boiler as top priorities.

TrustMark’s new guide covers energy efficiency tips, an explanation of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), and answers the whys and wherefores of the retrofit process, such as who can carry out the work, finding the right person, and what to do if something goes wrong. It also provides a handy checklist of questions to ask tradespeople when getting quotes.

"Stroma welcomes the release of the TrustMark guide; a simple and engaging document for the consumer, explaining what retrofit is and the need to consider retrofit, both now and in the future, with great signposting of next steps and stakeholders. It covers the PAS 2035 process in sufficient detail, without getting bogged down in the standard, which is vital for keeping consumers engaged and promoting the virtues of starting their individual retrofit journey.

Stroma is particularly pleased with the inclusion of the EPC section; we firmly believe that the EPC and the Retrofit Assessment (which also incorporates an assessment of the energy performance of the building) are the logical first steps on the journey to improving the efficiency, health, and comfort of our buildings, whilst reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions, as we move towards these crucial goals in the years to come." - Andrew Parkin, Managing Director at Stroma Certification

Furthermore, the recent study also found that over 98% of homeowners cited ‘quality or work’ and 97% cited ‘trust’, as their top requirements when having work carried out at home. Interestingly, using a well-known name scored at the bottom of this list, with 46% considering it important.

Finding the right tradesperson for your home is also where TrustMark can help. With their Find a TrustMark Trader facility, all businesses’ names are validated by their Scheme Provider(s) and commit to adhering to high standards of technical competence, customer service, and trading practices. They are also required to provide warranties and minimum guarantees where applicable.

“We are all aware of the need to make our homes greener and more energy-efficient, not only to reduce our costs and carbon footprint but also make our homes warmer, healthier, and more comfortable to live in.

However, it’s not just a case of insulating everywhere possible and blocking up every space to prevent draughts. There’s a right way to go about it. Using a qualified and accredited Retrofit Professional who will take into account the property as a whole, how you and your family use your home as well as your budget will result in a bespoke plan for your property that can be implemented in stages to suit your timescales.

Engaging professional, skilled tradespeople working to the proper industry standards will help to ensure homeowners get the best outcome and value for their investment. But it can seem very complicated which is why we’ve produced our guide to help simplify the process.” - Simon Ayers, CEO at TrustMark

References:

(1) All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2069 adults, of which 1,034 were ABC1+C2 Homeowners. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th - 26th January 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

(2) Energy cap rising 54% 1st April 2022 – BBC News 24/3/22

(3) 6.2% in 12 months to February 2022 BBC News 24/3/22