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Last updated: 3 November 2022

Next review: 13 October 2023

It is vital that homes across Waltham Forest become more energy efficient. Reducing the amount of energy homes need and improving how well they store heat will tackle the climate emergency and fuel poverty.

Waltham Forest’s housing stock has a significant amount of energy inefficient and old properties. Around 70% of domestic properties are built before 1944, and 51% of the borough’s carbon emissions are caused by heating and providing power to homes.  

What is retrofit?

Retrofit involves improving existing homes and buildings to make them more energy efficient.

Retrofit can can include minor changes as well as major changes. We displayed many of these options when we launched the first ever Local Authority Eco Show Home in September 2021.

Minor

Major

Changing halogen bulbs for energy efficient LED light bulbs or a "smart light" system.

Insulating your loft, exterior walls, underfloor cavity.

Draught proofing your home, such as fitting foam to the edge of your door or windows.

Improving your window glazing and replacing old doors.

Putting timers on devices that use a lot of energy, or getting "smart sockets". 

Replacing a gas boiler with a low carbon heating system, such as an Air Source or Ground Source Heat Pump.

Helping keep heat in your home by adding thick curtains or window shutters.

Adding a ventilation system to your home.

 

Why should I retrofit my home?

Lower energy bills

  • Insulating and draught proofing a home can help prevent energy from being wasted. 
  • Introducing a low carbon heat or power system can make a home more energy self sufficient. This means that more energy is generated within the home, rather than purchased from a energy provider. This can protect a homeowner from future energy price rises.
  • By lowering fuel bills for a tenant, this can help prevent rent arrears.

Smaller carbon footprint

  • Reducing the amount of energy needed to heat and power a home reduces a homeowner's carbon footprint.

Higher property value

  • Retrofit measures will improve a home's Energy Performance Certificate rating. This certificate is required when a home is bought or sold. A high rating (such as "C" to "A") can make a property more attractive to a prospective tenant or owner.

Compliance with regulations

  • The government have proposed introducing regulations to reduce the carbon emissions from homes. These changes include a proposed ban on replacing existing gas boilers with new ones from 2035. 

More comfortable home

  • Improving the insulation of a home can reduce draughts and help a home keep in heat. This can help prevent health issues such as the flu or breathing problems. This also means a home is more suitable for a changing climate (such as hotter summers and colder winters). 

Help maintain a home

  • Improving the insulation and ventilation of a home will prevent damp or condensation.

Preparation for government targets

  • The Government have set a target for the UK to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This target will need a massive change to all sectors (such as transport, food, energy, and housing) so retrofitting your home now can help you get ahead.

How do I retrofit my home?

Each home is unique and will need different retrofit measures. We recommend when retrofitting your home you follow these steps. 

  1. See if you can reduce how much energy you use.
  2. Start with a "fabric-first" approach. "Fabric-first" means prioritising insulation, draught proofing, and ventilation, before all other retrofit measures.
    • These investments will reduce the amount of energy your home consumes. 
    • This can have immediate impacts of your fuel bill and level of comfort.
    • Basic insulation, such as loft insulation, can often pay for itself within a few years.
    • If you are interested in low-carbon heating, having a well insulated home is essential.
    • You should consider ways to generate renewable energy in your home e.g. solar panels, after insulating your home.
  3. Do not be afraid to get some advice. Retrofit is a daunting and expensive process find out more information on how you can identify measures for your home