What does a home retrofit mean?
A home retrofit refers to actions that can be taken to improve the energy efficiency of an existing property. You might want improve efficiency to lower your energy bills, or perhaps reduce the impact of your home on the climate.
Benefits of retrofitting your home could include:
- Lower energy usage or less wasted energy.
- Feeling cosier in winter, with better insulation.
- A home that's more desirable to prospective buyers.
- A more sustainable home, with lower greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reduced risk of damp and mould, by eliminating cold spots and ventilating properly.
New homes are generally more energy efficient than older ones, because they have been built to modern building standards that place a greater emphasis on using materials and construction methods that help reduce heat loss and make them easier to warm up.
Older homes, depending on when they were built, will often be less energy efficient. The good news is that making changes to add, or retrofit, energy saving technology or features can make them more efficient.
The actions you can take will depend on the property. Some are relatively cheap, and possible to do yourself, like adding draught excluders. Others, like solar panels, will cost more money upfront and need professional installers. However, they could represent bigger energy savings over the longer term.
What are the retrofit steps?
What are the retrofit steps?
The steps and timings will depend on your property and what improvements you make. In general, steps include:
- Understand how energy efficient your home is. Your Energy Performance Certificate EPC will tell you how efficient it is and highlight actions you could take to make it more efficient. Or you could use our free Home Energy Plan to get suggestions. Simply add your postcode to begin.
- Home survey. It helps to know what you might want to do but a professional energy assessor will be able to give you tailored suggestions based on their assessment of your home and how you use energy. The same assessor may be able to produce an new EPC certificate for your property once the work has been done.
- Find tradespeople. From insulation to solar panels, it's important to find experts to carry out complex work. Trustmark could help you find someone near you with the skills.
- Paying for the work. You might be in a position to fund it all yourself. If not, take a look at the ways we could help. You can also check if you're eligible for any grants or help.
You don’t need to do everything in one go, but it is sensible to tackle it in the order recommended by your energy assessor. For example, ensuring your home is well insulated before making bigger investments in a new heating system.
Home improvement ideas for popular property types
We've identified the five most common types of property in the UK and suggested how you could make them more energy efficient. Even if you don’t find your exact house type, the tips can apply to many different types of homes. You should speak with a qualified expert to understand the changes you could make to your home.
Top questions about home retrofits answered
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- Suggested home improvements to cut energy use.
- Estimated annual savings and typical costs.
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