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Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most common questions we get about Cosy Homes Oxfordshire’s retrofit service.

If you have a question that we haven’t covered here, let us know by filling in our short contact form, and a member of the team will be in touch.


What is home retrofit?

Broadly speaking, retrofit is any work or improvements which are done to a home after it has been built, specifically to improve the energy efficiency of the home. You can find out more about home retrofit by watching our beginners’ guide to retrofit webinar.

What happens during a home assessment?

Take a look at our blog on what to expect from a Cosy Homes Oxfordshire home energy assessment.

Is there funding available to help me undertake a home retrofit?

Funding is available for homeowners who are vulnerable to the cold or living in fuel poverty. If you think you may be susceptible, refer yourself to the Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) team – they can provide vulnerable residents in Oxfordshire with advice and grants to improve energy efficiency in the home and lower bills.

We will update our website with any available funding as it arises. The Low Carbon Hub has put together advice on energy and funding for residents in Oxfordshire.

In England and Wales, homeowners may be eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

More funding options and advice is also available on Oxfordshire County Council’s Retrofitting your home page.

Are you able to recommend contractors and installers?

When taking up the Cosy Homes Oxfordshire service, you gain access to our pool of vetted installers and certified contractors who are members of the RetrofitWorks cooperative (our delivery partner).

We are unable to share the contact details of contractors unless you take up our service due to the overwhelming number of requests we receive. If you are looking for contractors we can recommend TrustMark, where you can search for local tradespeople in your area.

Is VAT charged on home retrofit measures?

As of April 2022, VAT is not charged on the installation of energy efficiency measures in Great Britain, and this relief is set to last until 31 March 2027.

How long did the Cosy Homes Oxfordshire pilot last?

Cosy Homes Oxfordshire was in a pilot stage from March 2019 to March 2021. This was the period for which we are funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy as part of their work to address the homeowner market for retrofit work. We are one of six pilots under this funding, and you can find out more information on the BEIS website.

Why is thermal imaging not a standard part of the Whole House Plan home assessment?

Thermal imaging is a non-contact method of detecting the temperature of the surface of an object, as well as the presence of moisture. Because of this, thermal imaging cameras are sometimes used in providing pointers to areas of heat loss in a home.

However, thermal imaging is highly dependent on the specific environmental conditions at the time of the survey and so while potentially useful for pinpointing possible areas for action, it does not give quantitative information that can provide a ready comparison house by house. Hence, it is not necessary as part of a full home energy assessment, and we don’t do them as a standard part of the Cosy Homes Oxfordshire service.

Your Retrofit Coordinator will advise you on whether a thermal imaging survey is likely to provide useful information to add to your Whole House Plan. If you’re particularly interested in having thermal imaging done to your home from the outset, we can organise this at an extra cost. Simply let your Retrofit Coordinator know when they contact you to book your home assessment, and we’ll take it from there.

Please note: thermal imaging is usually only offered from October to March. This is because the colder months are when heat loss will be visible on a thermal imaging camera.

Do you offer other home retrofit services outside of the Whole House Plan?

At Cosy Homes Oxfordshire our focus is on whole house retrofits, a comprehensive plan for home improvements across the whole home. This is because homes often end up with a range of different features as different homeowners make changes and improvements over the years, and these mixed features rarely work together well to create an energy-efficient and comfortable property.

With a whole house approach, the property is assessed in its entirety, with recommendations aiming to ensure the property operates in as energy efficient a way as possible, with every aspect of the building working together to achieve this. It also ensures that improvements are carried out in the correct order to prevent future issues. For instance, a chimney may be blocked off to reduce heat loss, but this could then later down the line cause damp through lost ventilation – the whole house approach means these knock-on effects are all taken into consideration.

Therefore, our primary service is our Whole House Plan, as this ensures that every home we work with goes through this whole house approach to gain the most comprehensive picture of retrofit improvements possible. Of course, the homeowner is always in charge of which measures and work actually go ahead. If you don’t want to do everything at once we can work with you to plan phases of work in a sensible order, reducing your upfront costs and the disruption to your home.

However, we are unable to offer services for individual measures (such as boiler replacement) outside of this whole house route, and we would recommend you go directly to a local, trusted contractor in this case. We are also unable to offer consultations on existing projects, such as home renovations that have already been planned. These are both aspects that we aim to be able to add to the Cosy Homes Oxfordshire service in future.

What if Cosy Homes Oxfordshire isn’t right for me but I still want to retrofit my home?

Our focus is on a whole house retrofit approach, assessing a house in its entirety with the aim of producing bespoke and comprehensive recommendations to make that home as energy efficient as possible. This is likely to include several different measures and areas of improvement, ensuring that every aspect of the building is working together, and preventing issues further down the line.

We often see homes where small improvements have been made across several years or several homeowners, which is where a lot of issues come from. It also means we are reducing carbon emissions from the home as much as possible.

So, if you’re looking to make a significant investment in retrofitting your property to improve energy efficiency, then Cosy Homes Oxfordshire is the right route for you.

If this approach doesn’t sound right for you but you’re still keen to make energy efficiency improvements to your home, then we can suggest the following routes:

  • Warmer Sussex (Sussex) or EcoFurb (London): if you’re based in the Sussex or London areas we’d recommend taking a look at Warmer Sussex or EcoFurb. They are retrofit services just like ours, run by RetrofitWorks who also run our delivery process – so you can expect the same level of care and expertise.
  • TrustMark and Buy With Confidence: If you’re looking to make simple or standalone retrofit improvements to your home (sometimes called ‘single measures’) – such as swapping your old boiler for a more efficient one, or changing your lighting to LED bulbs throughout – then it’s likely simpler and more cost-effective for you to source quotes and manage the project yourself. We’d recommend starting with TrustMark and Buy With Confidence to find local contractors near you that you can trust – this is also true if you live outside of our remit in Oxfordshire.
  • Better Housing Better Health (BHBH): If you think you may be vulnerable to the cold or damp in your home (or you know someone else who is) you can refer yourself to the BHBH team who can offer advice and support, as well as sourcing potential funding to improve your situation. BHBH is run by the National Energy Foundation, one of our project partners – so if you register your home with us the team will always be checking for potential funding routes too.

Do you undertake home retrofit projects outside of Oxfordshire?

As it stands our supply chain is set up to service homeowners in Oxfordshire.

If you live outside of Oxfordshire, these are our recommendations:

  • Warmer Sussex (Sussex) or EcoFurb (London): if you’re based in the Sussex or London areas we’d recommend taking a look at Warmer Sussex or EcoFurb. They are retrofit services just like ours, run by RetrofitWorks who also run our delivery process – so you can expect the same level of care and expertise.
  • TrustMark and Buy With Confidence: If there’s no whole house retrofit scheme near you, we’d recommend starting with TrustMark and Buy With Confidence to find local contractors near you that you can trust.

What is the likely timeline for the Whole House Plan process?

The time taken for the full process of having a Whole House Plan done for your home is approximately 5 weeks, but can vary, depending on various factors.

What is the current price of the price of Whole House Plans?

A home assessment and Whole House Plan, inclusive VAT, costs:

  • 1-2 bed home -£375
  • 3-4 bed home – £600
  • 5+ bed home – price on request*

The cost covers the time it takes to assess your home and for our Retrofit Coordinator to create your bespoke Plan. It’s all about ensuring you get the best advice tailored just for you.

*Homes with over 5 bedrooms tend to be more complex, with multiple buildings. We just need a bit more info about your home.

What is the Client Service Agreement?

After your Retrofit Coordinator has delivered your Whole House Plan, you will have a discussion with them about the recommended measures and decide which you’d like to go forward with. Your Retrofit Coordinator will then send you a Client Services Agreement. This agreement sets out how we will work together from that point on to deliver your planned works – what we need from you, and what we will be providing.

This includes how our Retrofit Coordinator’s time for the next steps is paid for to make the process happen – including project coordination of any contractors involved – as well as the cost of any Building Performance Requirement (BPR) and Technical Specialist Reports needed. These costs will vary as they are bespoke to the house and needs, but they will be spelt out to you – and your Retrofit Coordinator will be on hand to explain anything you aren’t sure about.

Is it cheaper to undertake a home retrofit project myself, without using Cosy Homes Oxfordshire?

There is a cost for project coordination as part of our service, which pays for our Retrofit Coordinator’s time – this will be detailed in your Client Service Agreement (see previous FAQs). This means that if you have the technical skills to coordinate all the elements to improve the energy performance and comfort of your home it may be, technically, cheaper to coordinate the project yourself by putting in the time needed at no cost.

However, the Retrofit Coordinator’s involvement will make the process much simpler and save you time, taking away all the admin that you would need to do yourself. This includes sourcing contractors you can trust, and quality assurance after delivery.

You can find out more about the role and value of Retrofit Coordinators in our blog post on the topic.

Does Cosy Homes Oxfordshire have enough Retrofit Coordinators and contractors to deliver work for homeowners?

We’ve been working hard to build up our list of trusted contractors and suppliers to deliver retrofit work, as well as Retrofit Coordinators who can oversee the project from start to finish. We are confident that we have enough contractors and Retrofit Coordinators in place to deliver home retrofit work for our clients.

As we continue to grow, we are still actively recruiting for both contractors to work with us, and Retrofit Coordinators to join our team. RetrofitWorks, one of our project partners, are leading on this aspect – if you’d like to know more please contact

What is the vetting process for your trusted contractors and suppliers?

Contractors and suppliers who work on Cosy Homes Oxfordshire projects for homeowners have to first become members of the RetrofitWorks cooperative. This means they have been vetted through their application process, are members of the national quality assurance schemes TrustMark ( and MCS (, and are being supported by the RetrofitWorks team and network.

Find out more about joining the RetrofitWorks cooperative:

What happens to the waste generated from home retrofits?

All contractors working with Cosy Homes Oxfordshire will use licensed skip hire to dispose of waste from home retrofit projects. This ensures that all waste from the retrofit will be properly separated and disposed of accordingly, so skips will not be sent to landfill in their entirety and those materials which can be recycled will be.

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