Tier one firms help launch group to boost resi retrofit efforts

Mace and Vinci are among a host of firms that have launched a new group aimed at driving residential retrofits at scale to meet net-zero targets. 

The National Homes Decarbonisation Group (NHDG), which has 17 founding members, said it will focus on growing the retrofit supply chain, advising on government policy and stimulating innovation. 

Energy giants British Gas and E.ON, as well as specialist retrofit contractors, have also signed up to the group. 

The move comes amid a government target for 26 million homes in the UK to be decarbonised to meet its 2050 net-zero target. 

However, a severe lack of skilled retrofit workers has been identified as a “crucial barrier”, while the current number of retrofit coordinators – which assess homes and advise people on energy-efficiency opportunities – was last year branded as “pitiful”.

NHDG chair Derek Horrocks told Construction News that the new group will have three prongs – policy advice/lobbying, improving skills, and driving innovation in the sector.

He added: “As an industry we must ensure we are able to grow and facilitate the long-term far-reaching ambition to achieve net zero.”

Horrocks, who is also chair and owner of NHDG founding member Sustainable Building Services, said the group will be “spearheading the charge for improvements”. 

This will include the “digitalisation of retrofit, increased offsite solutions, and the development of finance solutions to support the decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock”, he added. 

The Retrofit Academy has said 200,000 extra retrofitters must be recruited and trained by 2030. 

Horrocks said: “Powerful collaboration is needed to create the necessary infrastructure.

“We’re ready to invest and increase our wider resources collectively to ensure scaling the industry is a success.”

The NHDG said it was aimed at “large-scale retrofitters” with a turnover of at least £15m. Membership of the group is £5,000 per year, according to the NHDG website. 

NHDG founding members

  • Baxter Kelly
  • Bell Group
  • British Gas Services
  • E.ON Energy Solutions 
  • Equans Regeneration
  • Evolve Home Energy Solutions
  • InstaGroup
  • Mace Group
  • Mears Group
  • Osborne Carbon Neutral Solutions
  • OVO Energy Solutions
  • PHS Home Solutions
  • Saving Energy
  • SERS Energy Solutions Group
  • Sustainable Building Services (UK)
  • United Living
  • Vinci Construction
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