Skip to main content

Your web browser is out of date. Please update it for greater security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Choose a different browser

Community-led retrofit

There’s an important role for community-led retrofit activity in our journey to net zero.

Whether it’s explaining the options, identifying opportunities, audits or running events, community retrofit makes places better for the people using them while reducing carbon emissions.

Retrofit is about planning and making improvements to buildings to improve energy efficiency.

It can mean anything from basic repair and maintenance to draught-proofing and insulation, to heat recovery or renewable energy technology.

Two people looking at a pinboard with pieces of paper showing graphs and text. A man stands behind the board and points to a graph.
Explaining the savings generated by different energy-efficiency measures at Bristol Green Doors, a community event raising awareness of retrofit.

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that people are interested in retrofitting their homes, but they lack confidence in making the right choices and finding quality contractors to do the work. Community groups are well-placed to build local confidence in retrofit because they’re likely to be trusted by the people in their area and can provide advice without the pressure of a sales pitch.

Community organisations can support and spread awareness of retrofit in many different ways. This could be providing advice to local people about draught-proofing or insulating their homes, running events to show off local examples of successful home retrofit, or starting a project to install a low-carbon heating system in a community building, church or school. Community groups have the power to initiate entire street-level retrofit projects, like establishing bulk buying schemes and identifying opportunities to invest in a community project. Groups could also work with local installers and supply chains and support training opportunities to promote green jobs in their area.

CSE already does a lot of work in this area and has a growing team of expert retrofit professionals. But outside the formal retrofit sphere of accredited assessors, installers or coordinators, people embedded in their local communities have an important role to play.

Our retrofit tools, resources and case studies help with local conversations and connecting people; flagging key considerations and highlighting funding; setting up local projects and finding the right information.

Start a community retrofit project

Let us know what you’re thinking of doing. We may be able to help …

Retrofit advice for homeowners

Phone-based advice to help you carry out energy-saving home improvements with confidence.  
Find out more

Funding for community energy projects

Advice about the different funding options available for community energy projects.
Find out more

Community retrofit guide

Our free guide for community groups who would like to get involved in domestic retrofit.
Find out more