Retrofitting your home for the first time

Updated: Feb 24

After moving to Orpington in 2018, Ian has been on a mission to make his ordinary Edwardian house a zero-carbon home using a range of reasonable and accessible measures.


Why do it?

Electricity, unlike gas sources, can power homes through renewable energy as opposed to carbon-releasing fossil fuels. For a zero-carbon and more sustainable future we need to take make the switch from gas to electricity wherever possible. But where to start?


What did Ian do?

Ian made 4 main steps in this bid for a zero-carbon house:

  1. Replacing his gas boiler with an electric heat pump. This pump moves heat from outside to inside, even when the British weather reaches freezing temperatures.

  2. Increasing insulation as much as reasonably possible. Loft insulation is fairly straightforward, unlike the Edwardian solid brick walls found Ian's home, so 12” of mineral fibre quilt were utilised in insulating his loft in addition to insulating the timber ground floor with 4” thick foam board under the existing boards.

  3. Double-glazing all windows.

  4. Switching to an all-electric cooker.


How much does it cost?

Through making these changes, Ian now spends roughly the same amount on electricity as he used to spend on gas bills. To reduce costs further, Ian has utilised the government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which will pay him approximately £10,000 over the next seven years.


How can I learn more?

If you're interested in making similar changes, you can hear more specifics from Ian next Thursday 17th February at our 'Retrofit Bromley & Beyond' online webinar. Ian will be joined with specialist Energy advisors from South East London Community Energy (SELCE) and a Bromley Council representative to answer all your vital questions on getting started with retrofit. Click here for more information.



Words by Jessica Dunning