The Context

In the modern world, on average we spend 90% of our time indoors. Often these indoor environments have been designed poorly, cost a lot to heat and can be breeding ground for damp leading to mould and other problems. Studies have shown that this can have a negative impact on our health and well being, in turn affecting our quality of life.

In addition, a quarter of all the UK’s carbon emissions are from the energy we use to heat and power our homes. Improving the energy performance of our homes is a key part of the puzzle in cutting harmful carbon emissions, which will help protect our overheating planet.

We need to do this soon. As homeowners, making improvements to our homes will not only reduce our environmental impact, but it will also make our homes healthier and more comfortable for our families. A win-win solution.

“We all want to live in homes that are comfortable, healthy without costing the earth. Reducing the energy demand of our homes is a crucial way to help to tackle our carbon emissions, which we need to do urgently. We’re so pleased to be part of this service, working with expert project partners, to enable the people of Oxfordshire to take that step and make their homes cosier, happier and healthier and with a much lower environmental impact.”

Barbara Hammond, CEO, Low Carbon Hub

The Solution

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is a home improvement service that wants to help YOU live in cosier, healthier and more energy efficient homes- what we call a retrofit service.

Existing retrofit services often do not meet homeowner requirements for assured quality, value for money and excellent customer service. Traditionally most service providers have not been able to offer a complete service package from start to finish, which is the main reason why there is currently a lack of exciting and trustworthy service offers homeowners can rely on. We aim to address this.

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire offers a trusted, locally based solution to these needs, by bringing together local service providers and organisations under one seamless programme.

The Cosy Homes Oxfordshire scheme offers a ‘one-stop shop’ home retrofit service. The service begins with a whole house assessment of your home, followed by a tailored whole house improvement plan and ends with a high-quality and robust home retrofit solution. Throughout the process an independent Retrofit Coordinator will keep a check on the quality of the service for you.

The service links you with skilled practitioners and installers and takes on coordination of the whole process. It is backed by rigorous quality assurance measures, and trusted contractors will be vetted and rigorously assessed. This takes the hassle out of what can sometimes feel like an intensive process when you don’t know where to begin. So you can be rest assured that your home is in good hands.

The Pilot

The Cosy Homes Oxfordshire Pilot project was launched in April 2019 and will run until March 2020, when the project will move into the next phase of delivery.

During the pilot phase we are collaborating with five community groups in Oxfordshire. These groups are doing a fantastic job – actively promoting the health & wellbeing and environmental benefits of home energy retrofits within their communities through social media, community events and workshops. Over 60 homeowners have now signed up as the first cohort of our home retrofit service, all eager to begin their journey towards making their home a Cosy Home that’s fit for the future!

Our delivery team will be working closely with a select group of homeowners undergoing the ‘Whole House Retrofit’ service, documenting their journey and sharing exciting behind the scenes updates as their homes undergo transformational changes. We will later revisit the homes on completion of the projects to find out how they are enjoying their cosy homes, and share their stories with you.

Through monitoring, focus groups and homeowner feedback, learning from the pilot project will help to inform the eventual full scale roll out of the ‘Whole House Retrofit’ service and help us continue to deliver a high-quality service tailored to each of your homes and personal needs.

Register your home below to be a part of our next cohort of Cosy Homers.

“There are many benefits from retrofitting old homes such as improving our health, comfort and general enjoyment of the time we spend at home; and all this before we even consider energy savings and lower bills. We are pleased to bring over 30 years of trusted and independent advice on how to improve the use of heat and power in the home through this pioneering project. We are confident that our track record of providing support and encouragement to homeowners will help many families in Oxfordshire to benefit.”

Paul Ciniglio, National Energy Foundation

Background

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is a partnership set up to deliver energy efficient home retrofit in Oxfordshire. It is supported by the Low Carbon Hub, the National Energy Foundation and RetrofitWorks.

Each year, Oxfordshire spends £1.5 billion on energy. The Low Carbon Hub is working hard to ensure more of this money stays local through community-owned local energy generation. We also think we can spend less on energy and Cosy Homes Oxfordshire will help by improving the performance of our homes.

The start-up phase of Cosy Homes Oxfordshire was funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through a consortium bid led by Low Carbon Hub with project partners, National Energy Foundation and RetrofitWorks. This initial funding was to test a variety of approaches and models to determine which might encourage homeowners and communities to take part in retrofitting their homes. The outcome of this funding is the launch of Cosy Homes Oxfordshire.

Who We Are

Low Carbon Hub

Low Carbon Hub is an award-winning social enterprise, based in Oxford, that’s out to prove we can meet our energy needs in a way that’s good for people and good for the planet. We are calling for the creation of a new energy system that has renewable generation and energy efficiency at its heart, reducing carbon emissions and making our homes, businesses, and community buildings healthier and more comfortable.

We build community-owned renewable energy projects with schools, communities, and organisations which helps them reduce their energy bills, cuts their carbon emissions and creates long-term funding for further carbon-cutting activity. We are creating a better energy template for Oxfordshire and the whole of the UK.

National Energy Foundation

Established in 1988, The National Energy Foundation is an independent, national charity at the forefront of improving the use of energy in buildings with the aim to give people, organisations and government the knowledge, support and inspiration they need to do so.

This is done through improving new and existing buildings, helping householders save energy and money, providing impartial advice, undertaking research and innovation and tackling fuel poverty. The NEF works with Local Authorities across Oxfordshire to deliver their Affordable Warmth and Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) programmes.

RetrofitWorks

RetrofitWorks is a multi-stakeholder co-operative developed to deliver high-quality retrofits at a fair price to the customer and the contractor whilst ensuring that customers are supported throughout the process by trained Retrofit Coordinators.

RetrofitWorks is owned by and works with community based organisations to design and host all project stages of schemes that deliver energy saving and refurbishment works in buildings. Typically these organisations want to drive change but struggle to define that scheme and then organise a local supply chain to deliver it. They want to articulate an exciting retrofit service offer to homeowners, and make it all happen seamlessly and RetrofitWorks helps them do precisely that.

Low Carbon Communities

Communities across Oxfordshire, including Low Carbon Hub’s 27 community shareholders, have been active in helping reduce the energy demand of their neighbourhoods through awareness raising campaigns, events and practical workshops.  

Building on this knowledge and experience, we are working with 6 targeted community groups based across Oxfordshire to develop the role of Community Advocate for Cosy Homes Oxfordshire. These community groups are ambassadors for the project and are helping to spread the word and engage people in their communities, raising awareness about the benefits of home energy improvement and encouraging action.

Retrofit Coordinators

Retrofit Coordinators will work as an impartial adviser to the customer and overseer of the design and installation of the work, no matter how small the job. For smaller jobs they may only need to be on the end of a telephone, for larger jobs they will meet with you and may even engage other experts if the job requires it.

Retrofit Coordinators have lots of different base skills and training, but all have achieved a Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management and have technical and commercial grounding to make sure the job meets your needs and each contractor installs what was promised. Once a homeowners retrofit needs are assessed, a Retrofit Coordinator with the appropriate background is assigned for the job.