Making low carbon home improvements the natural choice
This market transformation initiative aims to stimulate local supply and demand for low carbon retrofit in the West of England by connecting interested homeowners and skilled building contractors.
Its aim is for this kind of work to become the straightforward, natural choice for any building work done on our homes. In the long term, this will help to ensure all home improvements contribute to achieving the highly energy efficient, low carbon housing stock we need to tackle climate change.
CSE analysis, summarised in this article, has established that there are homeowners who are ready to make low carbon improvements on their homes. The problem is they can’t act without a builder they can trust, while decent local builders are usually busy already and have enough work without low carbon projects.
Futureproof addresses this issue by connecting the homeowners who are ready to do low carbon retrofit work with a highly skilled network of contractors, and providing tailored support and guidance throughout the process to successful completion of the job.
Led by CSE, the initiative is backed by central government who recognise that improving the energy efficiency of UK housing stock will need a long-term, locally-led change in the market.
CSE is partnering with expert organisations including The Green Register, Greenhouse PR and Bristol City Council’s Energy Services Team to deliver the following core elements of the initiative:
Green Open Homes Demonstrations are taking place, enabling homeowners to experience real world examples of low-carbon measures in a setting which reflects their home, whilst providing the opportunity to obtain impartial and informal advice from the home owner; ‘Who did the work?’; ‘How did you find the experience?’; ‘Would you do it again, use them again, make any changes?’. Open homes events have a direct impact on visitors, leading them to develop and implement practical improvements following their visits.
CSE already manages the Green Open Homes website, which supports these types of events across the country, and are re-launching Bristol Green Doors, which were a series of successful open homes events that ran between 2010-15. The next Bristol Green Doors open weekend will be on 11-12 May 2019.
Tailored Support helps overcome the barriers between homeowners and builders. We offer a telephone advice service, site visits and property audits to support homeowners in making good decisions, appropriate for their property and circumstances.
Quality Control and Assurance offered by the initiative offers confidence to customers in the work being undertaken, and to contractors in the techniques and materials they are using.
Training and Skills Development is being delivered by project partners, The Green Register, to equip local firms with the skills and knowledge to deliver high quality, satisfying work based on key sustainable construction principles and impartial training from a range of experts.
For homeowners, Futureproof offers:
- A partner to support you throughout the process, giving you confidence that you’re making the right choices for you and your home. Whether that’s the type of measures to install, contractor to use or which quotes to proceed with.
- Connection with a network of highly skilled contractors through supportive, trained advisors, as well as help managing the ongoing relationship.
- The opportunity to improve your home, making it warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to run, with benefits to wider society and the environment.
- The chance to meet other homeowners with similar experiences and see what has been done before in a home just like yours.
- Quality Assurance that the work on your home is being done to a high standard with appropriate materials and techniques.
For local contractors, builders and trades, Futureproof offers a valuable opportunity to:
- Shape and expand your service offering in line with the future market, one with increasing demand for energy efficiency measures and higher standards for energy saving technology and skills.
- Connect with appreciative, well -informed customers, with high-value projects, through a supportive network of trained advisors.
- Prepare your business and skills to adapt to future regulatory changes with ease.
- Signal to customers that you hold your work to a higher standard, giving them confidence to expect quality.
- Take pride in refining your craft by developing knowledge and skills with long-term value.
- Attract more creative and satisfying work that not only benefits your customers and business, but wider society and the environment.
- Speak to others in the industry, sharing experience and best practices.