A new national retrofit group has been founded to deliver high-quality retrofit solutions to UK homes. Housing Industry Leaders examines the aims of this new collaboration.
The National Home Decarbonisation Group (NHDG) will support the installation of retrofit solutions on all UK homes regardless of tenure type, including social, owner occupied, and private rental homes.
The NHDG will see to the retrofit of UK homes at scale, and represent tier one contractors and energy suppliers on a membership basis.
Chaired by Derek Horrocks, owner of housing decarbonisation contractor Sustainable Building Services, a total of 17 founding firms have come together to create the group.
In establishing a collaborative platform, the NHDG hope to enable members grow the supply chain, while also offering advice on policy and stimulating innovation.
Derek, who previously chaired the National Insulation Association, described the founding of the group as a ‘defining moment’ for the UK housing sector.
He said: “The industry has seen commitment to retrofit projects diluted or under-delivered in the past and we believe that central and devolved governments need to hear a strong, positive message from experienced industry contractors and stakeholders.”
Hoping to blaze the trail for improvements across the sector, the NHDG will focus on skills and innovation, emphasise the digitalisation of retrofit, deliver off-site solutions, and develop finance solutions in support of decarbonisation efforts across the UK.
Derek added: “The continued long-term government commitment for the decarbonisation of 26 million UK homes to meet net zero targets by 2050 is critical, and we have already seen this ramp up significantly with £6.6 billion of Government investment over the current parliament and a further £6 billion pledged between 2025 and 2028 for the sector.
“As an industry we must ensure we are able to grow and facilitate the long-term far-reaching ambition to achieve net zero.”
Founding members have vast experience in retrofit measures
Founded through the National Insultation Association, the NHDG’s members are already skilled in delivering large-scale, PAS:2035 compliant installations funded by government schemes, including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the Home Upgrade Grant.
Members also have experience in home energy efficiency improvements in both the private rental and owner-occupied market, through schemes including the Energy Company Obligation.
Furthermore, organisations represented by the NHDG are expected to be involved in the delivery of schemes under the second wave of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, as well as Local Authority Delivery projects, the Sustainable Warmth scheme, or other projects funded by housing associations and local authorities.
Collaboration is key to delivering large-scale retrofit
The group highlight the need for collaboration across the sector in order to create the necessary infrastructure to achieve their goal of creating 200,000 more competent retrofitters by 2030.
“Our links across government and industry are already robust, and the creation of the group will ensure our combined membership will put us in a prime position to move forward as one voice on one mission.” Derek said.
Their close collaboration with the Department for Energy Security, alongside devolved nation governments and key sector stake holders, will support in their focus on three core aims: policy, skills and training, and innovation.
Poised to invest and increase their wider resources collective, the NHDG set out to ensure the successful scaling of the industry.
Derek concluded: “The stature of our founding members cannot be ignored, and we’re all excited about embracing what the future holds.”
The NHDG predict the involvement of their members in the majority of large-scale domestic retrofit work in the UK in the coming years.