Retrofit Businesses and Professionals

We can support your business

People Powered Retrofit was set up to help people in Greater Manchester to retrofit their properties. But we don’t just support householders.

To grow the domestic retrofit market, we need to work with every part of the supply chain, supporting businesses and smoothing the friction that prevents many consumers following through with energy retrofit projects.

If you are a contractor, supplier, manufacturer, architect or engineer then get in touch to find out how People Powered Retrofit can support your business and connect you with people keen to retrofit their homes.

Contractors and trades

Whether you’re a builder working alone, a small firm with a few employees or a more established construction company, if you’re interested in retrofit and based in Greater Manchester, we want to hear from you.

You might be keen to upskill your workers, or perhaps you already have some retrofit experience but want to expand your knowledge and learn new techniques.

People Powered Retrofit offers a range of retrofit support for contractors, from finding customers to training your staff, solving complications to advising on technical decision-making.

Finding customers

Every week we speak to householders in Greater Manchester who are interested in improving the energy performance of their home. Contrary to popular brief, we know that clients will pay for quality retrofit measures – they don’t always want the cheapest option.

People Powered Retrofit also organises match-making events where contractors, consultants and householders mingle and discuss potential jobs. This speed-dating style meet-up is always well-attended and regularly ends in a number of retrofit jobs being taken forward.

Educating your clients

We support householders to be ‘good’ clients – ensuring their relationship with you is satisfactory for all. This is about helping people to understand the retrofit process, something that always begins with a crystal-clear brief. We also support clients around budgeting, technical decision making and quality control, helping them to foresee issues and reduce the likelihood of complications.

On site training

Retrofit is quite an immature market and many great contractors will have knowledge gaps around energy efficiency measures. People Powered Retrofit offers free and low cost, on-the-job ‘Toolbox Talks’ which can improve understanding and develop skills around a particular retrofit technique.

If you’re open to learning new techniques and procedures, or if a client has proposed a new product or approach you’ve not seen before, get in touch. The informal training sessions we offer reinforce knowledge and develop confidence.

Our Retrofit Coordinators can also signpost you to further information or assistance on a particular technique. That might be a manual, video, online article or further training.

CPD sessions, masterclasses and workshops

At People Powered Retrofit we also offer high quality online and face-to-face training sessions at highly subsidised rates. These include practical workshops, masterclasses and webinars led by industry professionals.

Previous courses include:

  • Ventilation Systems: Design, Installation and Demand Control – CPD seminar

  • Making Your Building Airtight – A Practical Workshop

  • Using Hemp and Lime for Insulation – A Masterclass

  • Heat Pumps for Beginners – A Five Week Course

Technical challenges

Our Retrofit Advisors and Retrofit Co-ordinators have a wealth of energy efficiency experience and they can support you and your clients on the technical details of a project. If you have a burning question about a particular technique or procedure, or if you need guidance and direction, we can point you to the relevant information.

Finding sub-contractors

Retrofit can be a lonely business. It’s not easy to find like-minded construction workers with experience or interest in energy performance measures.

At People Powered Retrofit our aim is to change this. We’ve been growing a network of builders and tradespeople with retrofit experience. This community of specialists shares information, swaps contacts and answers queries through a WhatApp chat group, email list, face-to-face meet-ups and knowledge-sharing events.

Procurement of work

We are always looking for new contractors to include in our clients’ procurement exercises. There’s no framework fees or hidden charges, we’re just interested in getting the best deal for our clients and expanding the sector for everyone. Get in touch to express an interest.

Architects and architectural designers

Every week we receive dozens of enquiries from householders in Greater Manchester who want to retrofit their homes. That includes people planning extensions and layout changes alongside energy efficiency improvements. There is a real demand for architects and designers, with clients willing to pay for good design. Whatever support you or your client need, at whatever stage, People Powered Retrofit is here to help. Drop us an email at peoplepowered@retrofit.coop or call 0161 820 1273.

Informing your clients

Householders who are unfamiliar with retrofit and unaware of the decisions involved can represent a lot of time and effort to an architect, particularly a small firm.

That’s where People Powered Retrofit can help. We aim to send better briefed clients your way. A central part of our service is informing householders about the retrofit process. We help people to write their own Retrofit Project Brief, assess the energy performance of their property and think through the technical possibilities.

Technical direction

Maybe you’ve already been appointed by your client, but you need some specialist retrofit advice. Again, People Powered Retrofit can support technical decision making around your client’s energy efficiency project. Tap into the knowledge of our experienced Retrofit Advisors: they’re happy to provide expertise and answer your questions. This can include a range of subjects - from how to tackle a tricky bit of thermal bridge detailing or air-tightness; to support in an investigation, modelling or testing; to how to consider the risks of future summer overheating and glazing strategies.

Quality assurance

We can provide a Retrofit Coordinator to help oversee standards on site and skilling up of contractors, allowing you to focus on design rather than worrying about quality control. Get in touch to find out more about how People Powered Retrofit can support with quality assurance.

Finding contractors

We’ve been developing a network of builders and suppliers in Greater Manchester who specialise in delivering energy efficiency measures. Contact us so we can connect you with this growing community.

Services and Environmental Engineers

Our engagement with householders in Greater Manchester shows that many people need advice from services engineers about retrofit systems for their properties. Demand is there for things like well-designed heat pumps and ventilation systems. We can put you in touch with people willing to pay for your services. Drop us an email peoplepowered@retrofit.coop or call 0161 820 1273.

At People Powered Retrofit, we try to take care of those initial client conversations, so you speak to a more knowledgeable client with a clear idea of the energy efficiency measures they’re after.

Manufacturers and Suppliers

We work with hundreds of householders across Greater Manchester who are in the process of retrofitting their homes and may be interested in your products. Our growing community of architects, engineers and contractors, all specialising in energy efficiency works, might also want to find out about your systems and solutions.

In the past, suppliers have offered product discounts to the householders we work with and these have been received well. See some examples here. Get in touch if you can offer similar discounts.

At People Powered Retrofit we also work with suppliers offering CPD sessions to householders, builders, architects and engineers. If you’re interested in running a training session where you can share valuable insight and knowledge about your products, then get in touch. Drop us an email peoplepowered@retrofit.coop or call 0161 820 1273.

Local and Combined Authorities

What’s the economic value of retrofit?

Retrofit is a fundamental tool in tackling the climate emergency. However, we believe it also has the power to create strong, sustainable local economies, post COVID-19.

So, what are the main economic benefits of retrofit?

  • Green jobs: retrofit has huge economic potential to create wide-spread employment

  • Support SMEs: retrofit offers a wealth of opportunities for small, local businesses

  • Cut energy bills: retrofit can reduce energy costs and tackle fuel poverty

  • Community development: retrofit can build the resources of local communities

“People Powered Retrofit is community wealth building in action. There is strong economic development potential in the way we do retrofit. It should be at the heart of post-COVID recovery strategies in local economies.”

Jonty Leibowitz, senior researcher at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) now Political Advisor to Shadow Business Secretary at Labour Party

What can local government do to advance retrofit?

We believe that local authorities must do everything they can to:

  • Harness procurement: anchor organisations must lead by example, for instance by investing in social housing retrofit. They should use their public spending power to increase demand in retrofit and open up contracts to SMEs and local suppliers.

  • Develop skills: local authorities must create retrofit apprenticeships and ‘on the job’ training programmes.

  • Create business support: by ‘animating’ new forms of supply, for example bringing contractors into co-operatives, councils can support the supply chain.

  • Use planning and building control: local government can embed retrofit in regeneration and development policies, for instance via Energy Neighbourhood Master Plans. Local authorities can also work with local building control officers and planning officers to upskill in retrofit, so they can support the delivery of quality work.

  • Explore financing models: looking at a range of alternative ways to finance retrofit is crucial. Community financing, mutual credit, municipal vehicles, zero interest lending and council tax credits are all options.

Keep in touch