What is Retrofitting of a Building to Improve Energy Efficiency?

Global warming is big news and the UK government has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Statistics show that the built environment contributes roughly 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, and almost half of this is from the energy used in buildings.

Retrofitting represents one of the best opportunities to lower the environmental impact of buildings in the UK. Here is everything you need to know about retrofitting and how it can improve the energy efficiency of buildings:

What is retrofitting?

Generally speaking, retrofitting is the addition of new technology to older systems to improve efficiency and performance. Retrofitting of buildings means upgrading existing buildings with energy-efficient improvements and equipment or changing the structure of the building to lower its environmental impact.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency is that it reduces carbon emissions. Energy efficiency improvements also lead to long-term cost savings for homeowners by reducing the amount of energy and water they use.  Having insulation installed could slash your annual energy bills by around £250.

Another great benefit of retrofitting is that it uses the buildings existing features and structure. This leads to fewer wasted resources which is better for the environment and your wallet! Overall, retrofitting is more cost-effective than other renovation methods.

Book an energy performance certificate 

Retrofitting is great for improving energy efficiency and an energy performance certificate (EPC) can help you understand which improvements will maximise your energy performance. Before you plan any retrofitting projects, it’s recommended that you arrange for an accredited energy auditor to visit your property and assess the energy efficiency of your building.

This will give you a detailed overview of your environmental impact and how you can improve your property’s energy efficiency. The EPC report will also give you recommendations on the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of your building.

Ways to retrofit a building to improve energy efficiency

There are many ways to retrofit a building to improve its energy efficiency. Here are some of the most popular energy-saving improvements that give the highest returns.

Add insulation

Adding insulation to your property is a simple way to boost your energy efficiency and reduce heat loss. You can add insulating materials to your roof, wall cavities, floors, and any other areas of your home where heat is escaping. Installing insulation is affordable and can bring about significant energy and cost savings.

Switch to a smart meter

Switching to a smart meter will allow you to control your home’s temperature more efficiently. A smart thermostat connects your heating system to the internet and allows you to manage your heating remotely. Installing a smart thermostat could save you around £200 a year.

Keep in mind that a smart meter won’t automatically reduce your energy costs. You will need to be proactive and adopt sustainable practices like turning your thermostat right down when you’re not in and wearing extra layers of clothing instead of turning the heating up.

Install solar panels

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and more homeowners and businesses are having solar panels installed on the roofs of their properties. Solar power offers fantastic opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and save money on energy.

A solar panel system works by converting energy from the sun into electricity that can then be used to power your home or business. Solar panels are affordable and quick to install, plus they can give an excellent return on investment.

Replace existing windows

Experts at Greenspec state that a typical house loses 10% of its heat through the windows. Replacing existing windows with high-performance designs will improve the energy efficiency of your property and save you money on heating costs.

Make sure that you choose new windows that are appropriate for your climate and exposure. For instance, if you live in a high noise area, then consider windows with additional noise reduction features.


Global warming is having a devastating effect on our planet, and we all need to work together to lower carbon emissions and reduce our environmental impact. Buildings are one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases in the UK and there needs to be a big focus on making residential and commercial buildings greener.

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the UK. Retrofitting offers one of the best opportunities to make older buildings more sustainable and affordable for homeowners. Book an EPC to check the energy performance of your home and identify ways to improve the efficiency of your home through retrofitting. 

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