We are a passionate and friendly not-for profit organisation based in Staffordshire, England. But we are growing fast and now have Retrofit Academy Hubs springing up around the country too.
Over the past couple of years, we have really started to make our mark, training thousands of people and leading the UK energy efficiency sector towards delivering high quality retrofit at scale.
Retrofit is the process of upgrading our existing homes to make them more energy efficient. This usually involves improving the fabric of the house through installing insulation, upgrading the building services and introducing renewable energy and heat sources such as solar panels and heat pumps.
We develop, deliver and license the leading retrofit training in the world.
We work with educational institutions to support them to deliver these courses too. So we train lots of trainers.
We provide direct support to our members to help them develop the skills and know-how needed to deliver high-quality retrofit at scale.
We also work with government authorities and key employers to ensure we have the skilled workforce needed to deliver net zero.
The Retrofit Academy CIC aims to train and support over 200,000 competent retrofitters by 2030, across the UK.
It’s crucial that we have the volume of skilled trades and professionals needed to delivery the decarbonisation of our housing stock. Recent studies have estimated that up to 400,000 new recruits will be be needed to form a Retrofit Army.
But it is also crucial that these people really understand retrofit. They will be tasked with the greatest infrastructure challenge in history – delivering almost two retrofits per minute between now and 2050. But we have to get it right, first time. There won’t be a second chance and we know that bad retrofit can be worse than no retrofit at all.
Well, there’s there are a couple of very large elephants in the room. They’re called climate change and fuel poverty.
Climate Change is caused by burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) into our atmosphere. Most of the countries in the world have agreed that we need to cut CO2 emissions radically and quickly. In the UK, we have pledged to deliver Net Zero by 2050.
Around 27% of all CO2 emissions come from the heating, lighting and electricity used in our homes. What’s more, the UK has the oldest and draughtiest housing stock in the world.
So the government knows that it can’t achieve its targets without addressing this. That’s why gas central heating and other fossil fuel heat sources will soon become a thing of the past. Over the next 20 years, most of our homes will be heated by low carbon technologies such as heat pumps.
Millions of people in the UK live in fuel poverty – essentially this is when people have a choice between heating and eating. We believe that there is no place for fuel poverty in a civilised society.
Fuel poverty continues to grow as energy prices increase and it brings with it massive economic and social costs. Age UK estimate that fuel poverty costs the NHS more than £1.3 billion a year and around 30% of the 30,000 excess winter deaths can be ascribed to fuel poverty. This is a massive social and economic problem that we need to address for economic as well as social and moral reasons.
The Retrofit Academy CIC Chief Executive David Pierpoint explains more about the role of the Academy in the future of retrofit and energy efficiency.