Helping homeowners live in cosier, healthier, and more energy-efficient homes.
Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon (RHILC) is a community action group in Oxford. RHILC supports Cosy Homes Oxfordshire – a one-stop home retrofitting service launched as a pilot scheme in 2019. Cosy Homes works with homeowners to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints. They aim to simplify the process of making energy-efficient changes to homes in Oxfordshire.
14% of all UK carbon emissions come from energy used to heat and power our homes. Many homes are old and inefficient as well as having issues such as mould and poor insulation. RHILC surveyed a typical house in Oxford to identify common issues. Using thermal imaging they discovered key weaknesses are uninsulated bay windows and front doors; poor roof, floor, and wall insulation; and inefficient gas boilers.
Many homeowners know they need to make changes but don’t know where to start and can feel overwhelmed. Cosy Homes helps to simplify the process. They complete a whole-house assessment and energy audit to highlight areas of homes where energy-saving improvements can be made and guide owners through the process based on situation and budget.
• Installation of additional front doors or porches.
• Cavity wall/loft insulation top-ups.
• Underfloor insulation.
• Insulating solid walls under bay windows.
• External wall insulation.
• Air source heat pumps.
Cosy Homes (with partners The Low Carbon Hub and RetrofitWorks) has been in a pilot phase from 2019 to 2021. The team hopes the positive results they have seen so far will enable them to continue with this robust delivery model for energy-saving home retrofit works.
Eleanor Watts from RHILC explained:
“We cannot bring back the climate to what it was 200 years ago, but we can begin to change the climate of opinion. Cosy Homes seeks to do that by working with homeowners, contractors, landlords, our partners, and the community to provide solutions that work."
Build strong partnerships –
Working in partnership with organisations such as the Low Carbon Hub and RetrofitWorks has helped us hugely in connecting with homeowners who were already part of a network of motivated communities.
Take a whole-house approach –
We saw great results with combinations of effective improvements that smaller, individual actions would not have achieved. Feedback showed that homeowners found our coordinators invaluable, ensuring smooth project management and communication.
Build a low-carbon contractor –
By building a network of local skilled and trusted contractors who use environmentally friendly materials, we ensure our service is low carbon throughout.
Be transparent with timescales –
We have seen a fantastic response from homeowners but issues with the supply chain and increased interest and awareness due to the Green Homes Grant scheme caused delays with project delivery. The implementation of a waiting list, with clear communication to homeowners, has been helpful, along with our free Plan Builder online tool.
Our Metrics –
During our 2-year pilot phase:
• 548 homes registered.
• 233 home assessments completed.
• 220 whole house plans.
• 23 retrofits in progress.
Read more: https://cosyhomesoxfordshire.org