Retrofitting housing: Translating net-zero commitments into actions and impacts

Anupam Nanda, Leonard Gibbs, Cecilia Wong, Mark Baker, Sarah Longlands, Rachel Bentley, Antonia Jennings

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


This study examines issues and challenges of retrofitting existing housing, which is a key step toward reaching net zero targets. We use Manchester City Council as a case study to highlight how incentive structure, asset management and investment approaches, and housing finance may need to work together in the context of climate change and relevant emerging national and local policies.
Even though the overall national approach to heating decarbonisation is ambitious, it lacks an understanding of what residents are motivated by and does not fully appreciate the implications and challenges of retrofitting at scale. Moreover, it is not based on solid evidence regarding financing retrofit or retrofits' actual carbon reduction efficiency. When comparing Manchester's approach to other local authorities' efforts, key distinctions and opportunities to establish and share excellent practices are identified.
Our analysis suggests decarbonising energy supply and applying market-based interventions may likely be more effective to reduce carbon footprints than focusing simply on domestic heating. We must also reconsider our beliefs about the climatic costs of economic progress, have a long-term perspective as well as shape stakeholders’ behaviours effectively towards tackling climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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