Future-proof your social housing assets, and save your tenants money

On average, energy use for heating and hot water makes up 50%-65% of the total energy costs for your tenants. Because of this, well designed and installed retrofit measures like wall insulation, loft insulation, low carbon heating and renewable energy solutions can be the single biggest investment you can make into supporting the financial wellbeing of your tenants, and alleviating fuel poverty.

PAS 2035, the British standard for retrofitting homes, recommends a whole building approach to retrofitting that looks at opportunities to improve insulation, heating systems, ventilation and other building elements all at once. Let’s look at some options:


Heat loss in buildings increases the heat demand of a property, so improving insulation is a great way to reduce energy consumption and energy costs for tenants. On average 25% of heat is lost through the roof of a property and a further 35% of heat is lost through the walls. To improve these building elements internal or external wall insulation and loft insulation can reduce heat loss.

The Energy Saving Trust says that increasing loft insulation from 100mm to 300mm can save a home an average of over £120 a year. If 300mm loft insulation is installed on a property without any insulation at all, the saving can be over £200 per year.

Cavity wall insulation saves an average of £160 per year, with some households saving up to £275 per year. For properties without cavity walls external wall insulation can save around £255 per year on tenant energy bills. Each of these insulation options reduce energy demand because they reduce the heat loss from a property.

Low carbon heating

For properties that are well insulated already, adding a low carbon heat source like an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump are ways of reducing energy costs for tenants further while also reducing carbon emissions. An air source heat pump is around 3 to 4 times more efficient than a gas boiler. This means that for every 1 unit of electricity used by the heat pump, 3-4 units of heat energy are delivered into the house. That’s 300-400% efficient!

Renewable energy

On top of the retrofit measures mentioned above, using renewable energy like solar panels and battery storage allows a property to generate and store energy for itself at a much cheaper rate than buying it from the grid. Air source heat pumps run off electricity and can be directly connected to the solar panels on a property, further reducing the cost to run the heat pump. The energy savings for tenants each year depends on the size of the roof, its orientation to the sun and the number of panels in the solar array. The Energy Saving Trust estimates an annual saving of between £160 and £420 per year from installing solar panels.

Putting all of these into practice can be daunting, but that’s where we come in. At NetZero Collective, our job is to make decarbonisation easy for landlords across the country. We’re here for you every step of the way, from taking your first steps as we analyse your property portfolio data, to planning your retrofit program and delivering it at scale.

Contact us to see how we can kick-start your decarbonisation journey.