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The evidence is in: Retrofit Credits works

Decarbonisation is at the heart of everything we do. It’s key to ensuring a sustainable future not just for social housing but for the entire planet.
Andrew van Doorn Headshot

We launched our Retrofit Credits pilot in September 2022, funded through the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme. The pilot of Retrofit Credits has been running for nine months now and we’re delighted to say that the evidence shows that the scheme works.

Twenty-two social housing organisations have participated in the pilot, ranging from a small housing co-operative in Bristol to a G15 housing association in London. Other participants in the pilot include a partnership of housing associations in Hertfordshire, a rural based housing association in Yorkshire as well as three local authorities – a county council, a borough council and a London borough council.

The credits generated through the pilot will produce around £100,000 in revenue this year, and over the next twenty years we forecast that the credits generated will raise over £7 million in capital that can be reinvested back into retrofit works.

Don’t just take our word for it: the Retrofit Credits scheme has been assessed and verified by independent auditors, who, as well as auditing the data, also visited some of the homes which have been retrofitted. They found that all the emissions reductions achieved are due to the retrofitting work that has taken place as part of the Retrofit Credits scheme.

The other part of the pilot involved identifying buyers for the Retrofit Credits, buyers who met the conditions set out in the ethical framework that was developed by participating housing associations. This framework means that the credits are bought by organisations who have an active decarbonisation strategy and are abating their existing emissions in line with climate science, thereby negating participants’ concerns about accusations of greenwashing.

The good news is that all the credits originated under the pilot have been sold, with The Economist Group, Berkeley Group, Unity Trust Bank and Ibstock securing significant tranches. A range of other organisations also wanted to show their support for the service by purchasing smaller numbers, including Igloo, Hunters and Kinovo.

We’re now working with over 100 housing providers and local authorities to help them finance their retrofit ambitions. We already have over 100,000 homes enrolled in the service from a variety of rural and urban providers across the UK including North and Yorkshire, the Midlands and London.

These housing providers are verified to have met a series of conditions set out in the ethical framework developed by Housing Associations, which means that HACT can be sure that money is only being invested where it will be used properly, to improve the lives of residents living in social housing.

Retrofit Credits allows social housing organisations to turn their planned or even completed retrofit activities into income streams. We intend to run our next crediting cycle later this year and are inviting organisations to send us details of their retrofit works completed since January 2023.

HACT CEO, Andrew van Doorn, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to see the scheme in action and see the positive effects it’s already having in the communities in which it’s being used. When we launched Retrofit Credits we had very high hopes for it, and now 12 months later it’s fantastic to see those hopes being borne out.

“And this is just the beginning. We’re planning to roll out even more credits later this year in order to really get this scheme in the centre of people’s minds, and to really maximise the amount of decarbonisation that takes place.”

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