2013 survey shows significant changes in social housing sector

Published:  28 January, 2014

Progress is being made on the deployment of sustainable retrofit, but not as fast as registered providers have anticipated, according to a survey carried out by Alliance Procurement, the National Energy Foundation and the University of Salford.

This is just one of the findings from the survey, which sought to identify changes in sector attitude over the last three years. It repeated many of the questions asked in the original ‘state of the nation’ survey carried out by the same team in 2010.

The 2013 dataset found that, in terms of funding sources used to retrofit properties to date, 88% of respondents cite CESP and CERT and 77% cite that their own internal budgets have been used.

In terms of internal sector skills, there is a shift in the development of in-house knowledge and capabilities reported between 2010 and 2013. In 2010, reliance on internal and external retrofit skills and knowledge was almost equally balanced (51% internal; 49% external). However, in 2013, 84% of respondents indicated that such skills are now internal, compared to 16% sourced externally. This could indicate that RPs have ‘grown’ in-house skills in response to the growing retrofit agenda.

When it comes to technologies used both in 2010 and 2013, the building fabric improvement measures were seen as most effective, with loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, windows and doors and solid wall insulation all ranking highly. Other ‘well-known’ technologies such as efficient gas boilers, draught stripping, PV and solar thermal were also rated highly. Meanwhile, confidence in less ‘mainstream’ heating and ventilation systems such as MVHR, combined heat and power (CHP), air-source heat pumps and ground-source heat pumps appears to have declined.

A fully copy of the initial survey analysis is available here: http://ow.ly/sSvku

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