REQUEST renovation measures

REQUEST (Renovation through quality supply chains and energy performance certification standards) is a European programme funded by Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) designed to increase the uptake of low-carbon renovation measures in homes across Europe by focusing on the demand and supply side of low carbon renovations.

REQUEST - promoting low-carbon refurbishment

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have an important role in low carbon renovations as they provide detailed information to homeowners and tenants on measures that can be undertaken to increase whole house energy efficiency. In the UK EPCs are mandatory upon sale or rental however research shows little action is taken on these.

The focus of REQUEST is to address the barriers homeowners face by ensuring easy access to detailed EPC recommendations and establishing reliable, quality installers or professionals. REQUEST is targeting four different areas of industry:

  1. Demand side – homeowners and multi-residential building owners/managers
  2. Supply side – building professionals and their trading organisations
  3. Mediators – EPC advisors
  4. Regulators and facilitators – energy agencies, government, experts, and so on
 

UK pilot of REQUEST

The Energy Saving Trust is one of eleven partners in the REQUEST programme.

Findings show that most domestic refurbishment activity takes place on a room-by-room or project-by-project basis, rather than whole-house. In addition, when home-owners are commissioning work they want builders to provide advice on energy efficiency measures. 85% of homeowners say they would stretch their refurbishing budgets to include measure such as floor, wall or roof insulation at the time of redecorating. 

In response to this the Energy Saving Trust has developed new practical guides on energy efficiency measures which aim to motivate homeowners and landlords to invest in low carbon measures during property renovations. The guides are intended to enable trades and professionals to work together to provide quality works or services by increasing their understanding of new systems. 

The guides present home-owners and builders with energy efficiency guidance on a room-by-room basis and cover the most common refurbishment activities (kitchen, bathroom, heating system upgrades, loft conversions and living space refurbishments). When the guides are used in succession they will enable homeowners to achieve an EPC B rating by progressing in stages.

The UK pilot will test the concept of how guidance for home-owners and for housing professionals encourages the incorporation of energy efficiency measures at the time of planned renovations. This will be tested through two key routes;

 

Top-down approach

Practical guides (A5-sized booklets) have been distributed to a large sample (circa 400) of both building professionals and homeowners in London and South Wales. Two different guides have been developed – one for building professionals (trade) and one for homeowners.

 

Bottom-up approach

An assessment will be undertaken of the impact of the guides on approximately 20 home improvement projects:

  • testing and monitoring of the properties will be undertaken pre and post refurbishment to determine the level of improvement made to the energy efficiency of the homes and EPC rating.
  • builders and homeowners will be asked via surveys whether the EST guides were useful in achieving these extra energy savings as compared with their original plans for simply redecorating or refitting.

The results of the pilot will be used to improve tools, mechanisms and guidance in both the UK and Europe to increase the uptake of low carbon refurbishment. 

 

Find out more

For the full report on room by room refurbishment, see the Energy Saving Trust Guide ‘Trigger points: a convenient truth’.

For specific enquires regarding the pilot project contact helen.stimpson@est.org.uk

Find out about the programme and pilots from other countries at the REQUEST website.