Targeted measures for individual homes

17 April 2023 - Published by Deirdre Buist
Recent EU climate policy proposals risk raising the number of energy poor. Findings suggest that more tailored interventions are needed to help individuals lower energy bills and facilitate practical support measures for vulnerable households. During the Stronghouse visit to Aberdeen earlier this year, the partners visited a number of retrofit projects. The interventions presented were a catalyst for further bilateral exchange between partners from the Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the Municipality of Noordenveld.

Triggered by the interest shown and ensuing discussions, Mohammed Seddiki (partner at RGU) shared some more background on the retrofit examples the consortium visited during the partner meeting in January.


One such example was part of  the Domestic Optimised Retrofit Innovation Concept (DORIC) project , showing a more tailored approach to retrofitting individual homes. DORIC is a Department for Business Energy & Strategy (BEIS) backed, £5.2m project, aimed at improving the energy performance of one hundred properties in Aberdeen. “These  100 properties were surveyed using thermal imaging technology to identify where fabric improvements are required to reduce heating demand. Taking a whole-home energy efficiency approach, the project aims to demonstrate a viable route to net-zero carbon emissions for the UK social housing sector, whilst also reducing fuel poverty among residents," Mohammed says.

“By implementing house fabric upgrades at the same time as the installation of renewable energy assets, DORIC aims to showcase a path to achieving net-zero emissions through a financed and scalable business model that is also affordable for residents.”

Community retrofit cooperative

Another very interesting new initiative has been launched by Matt Club, who also presented some retrofit case studies during the partner meeting in Aberdeen - North East Scotland retroFIT (NESFIT) Hub. This is a community-led retrofit cooperative, helping householders achieve warmer, healthier, emissions-free homes. NESFIT provides a retrofit service to assess every improvement option for homes and write those into a Retrofit Plan. Our RGU partner explains further: “The plan can be carried out in stages, and the cooperative  helps households find contractors to do the work and monitors the energy use after the installation to ensure it has done what it was supposed to.”

Individual energy plan

This sounds quite similar to what is currently happening in the Municipality of Noordenveld. Here too, there is a focus on a community approach to energy renovation but this local authority has also deployed a number of targeted measures to engage homeowners, supporting citizens  on a more individual level. Roy Stavenga: “Within the context of Stronghouse, we offer a so-called ‘voucher’ for a free energy plan  which is designed specifically for a particular house. These personal plans are part of the Customer Journey in Noordenveld which consists of a three-step approach.”

Independent energy advisors

The tailored plans are designed by independent energy advisors assigned to the task by the Municipality as part of the Stronghouse project. “We were very inspired by what we saw and heard in Aberdeen, including Matt’s presentation. It’s interesting to compare notes and fine-tune ideas,” Roy continues. “During the initial application phase for an energy plan, the Municipality asks for permission to pass on personal details to other organizations so there are no privacy issues. It’s not mandatory for qualification, but other organizations, such as Drents EnergieLoket (DEL), are likely to be involved in the further facilitation of the process.”

Success & next steps 

Colleague at Noordenveld, Martine Westra is pleased with the results so far. "Almost 100 individual plans have been created - that's a great success! Now we’re organizing a follow up community engagement meeting to inform those with a plan of the next steps and offer active support and facilitation by the implementation of these plans. This can involve funding advice or bringing customers into contact with DEL or other relevant parties,  for instance.”


Find more information about  NESFIT

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