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Getting (retro)fit for net zero: An approach for existing homes

Published on 5 October 2020

This paper focusses on the challenge of retrofitting UK homes to be fit for a net zero future. It stems from discussions in the Association’s Energy Efficiency Policy Working Group about the need for a clear and net-zero consistent approach to retrofit.

Getting (retro)fit for net zero: An approach for existing homes | ADE publications

Heating and hot water for UK homes accounts for approximately a quarter of total UK energy use, with 10% of UK consumption emissions coming from household heating alone. A key challenge to cutting household emissions in the UK is the relatively poor energy performance of our homes.

If we consider reaching net zero as a journey, this paper focusses on the need to understand the destination for existing homes. Without knowing where we need to go, how can we plan to get there on time or as smoothly as possible?

Section one focusses on where we are now and looks at existing policies and targets for domestic retrofit. Section two explores where we need to get to. It does not provide an answer to what a net zero housing stock in the UK looks like, but it does recommend that clarity on this question is crucial to setting comprehensive long-term targets. 

Finally, the third section addresses the question of how we should get there? The report outlines five key steps for aligning domestic retrofit with net zero targets and concludes with key asks and opportunities for policy makers.

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