Reference: Barriers to domestic retrofit – learning from past home improvement experiences. IN: Retrofit 2012, University of Salford, 24-25th Jan., pp. 1 - 10 (2012) Mallaband B, Haines V and Mitchell V

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Abstract or summary

If the UK is to meet its carbon reduction targets, it will be necessary to retrofit energy saving measures into the majority of homes. With approximately three quarters of the houses that will exist in 2050 already built, this presents an enormous task. Whilst retrofit of social housing can be undertaken at scale, encouraging people who are owner occupiers to make changes to their homes presents more of a challenge. Within this owner occupier group there are 4.5million homes that are also hard to treat, having solid walls, and so many of the retrofit measures available will not be suitable. This paper reports case study research based on 20 UK owner occupier households. It presents the results of a thematic analysis based on semi –structured interviews with the 34 adult members of the households that explored the home improvement experiences of the participants from when they brought the house. The barriers that deter people from making improvements to their homes and therefore implementing energy saving measures are presented. The findings highlight a range of interrelated and sometimes rather intangible barriers to making home improvements to older, hard to treat properties. It is essential for these sometimes subtle issues to be understood in order for policy makers to suitably engage home owners in taking up energy saving measures and to inform the requirements for skilled professionals and their involvement in the process.