How Could Surrey Residents Create a Housing Retrofit Plan?
Surrey County Council has been awarded £745,000 of funding through the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator (LEAD) project, to trial new and innovative approaches to tackle residential energy emissions, help residents save money, conserve energy, and make homes more energy-efficient.

The LEAD project is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and is one of the UK’s largest energy-based collaborations between a local authority and community groups. The project will run until March 2025 and consist of in-person energy advice and a One Stop Shop.

An online platform is available to provide retrofit support for residents

In-person energy advice will support around 3,000 residents by using thermal imaging surveys, providing basic remedial measures for problems such as draughts and heat loss, and signposting to support to help reduce their energy use and bills.

Community groups will provide energy surveys to eligible residents which includes those who live in houses with EPC ratings of D or worse, do not have gas central heating, or may have obstacles to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

The One Stop Shop is an online platform that will help residents create an energy efficiency and retrofit plan for their home, based on building type, budget, and potential grants and reductions in the cost of technology. This will be delivered by the Surrey Climate Commission.

Residential energy accounts for over 30% of Surrey’s carbon emissions 

Marisa Heath, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Environment explained that collaboration will be needed to successfully roll-out a net zero strategy: “This is a fantastic opportunity to build collaboration between the local authority and Surrey’s community groups, working together to upgrade housing stock and reduce residential emissions.

“The project is a great example of how implementing a net zero strategy can be hugely beneficial to residents, and actually help them to save money, make their homes healthier and more modern, and simultaneously tackle climate change.”

Continuing, Marisa stated that change needs to happen now: “Approximately 300,000 homes in Surrey have energy performance ratings of D or worse, meaning that thousands of residents live in homes which are poorly insulated, and liable to damp or mould. Residential energy accounts for over 30 per cent of Surrey’s carbon emissions, a figure which could be significantly lowered through improved energy performance, and reduced energy use.”

If 5 per cent of the homes receiving in-person energy advice embark on a deep retrofit with the assistance of the One Stop Shop and any available funding, it is estimated to make cumulative savings of around £320,000 every year for Surrey residents.

Alongside this, the project will deliver carbon reductions of 1,280t CO2e every year across the life of the measures installed.

Projects like this one becoming a reality reflects the importance of making funding available to not only provide residents with choice but also the advice and information needed for them to make the correct choice for them.