Our latest report, released as part of the Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition, outlines valuable learnings from our pilot programme to retrofit nine properties across the UK.


The Coalition, made up of NatWest, British GasWorcester Bosch and Citizens Advice, was launched in 2021 with the aim of improving the energy efficiency of UK buildings, and to address the key blockers to meeting net zero in the UK buildings environment.


The Home Improvement Pilot builds on our work over the past two years with the Coalition to move the conversation around energy efficiency from the conceptual world to the real world.


We’re focused on keeping consumers at the heart of the conversation as it is real people and their families, that will have to undergo a disruptive, albeit ultimately beneficial, home improvement process.


By studying the rollout of home improvement upgrades on a case-by-case basis, we’ve uncovered important lessons and insights.


The report’s main findings were:

  1. Whilst a home improvement process does involve disruption, consumers feel the process is immediately worth the effort, although cost remains the main upfront barrier.
  2. Each consumer’s journey will be different, and due to the variety in the UK’s housing stock, some will require bespoke solutions.
  3. Planning restrictions can make home improvement projects complicated and local councils also need to raise their awareness of home improvement measures.
Home is Where the Heat Is: Outcomes Report

Download the latest report for more insights into supporting energy efficiency across the UK.

Lloyd Cochrane, Head of Mortgages at NatWest, said:

“At NatWest, we seek to put the customer at the heart of energy efficiency interventions. Our Home Improvement Pilot has shown that not only are energy efficiency upgrades desirable, but with increased collaboration between Government and business – working hand in hand – they are achievable, as well as key to improving the country’s energy security and reduce the financial burden faced by consumers.”


Growth opportunities for UK business

There are also clear growth opportunities for UK business to develop a substantial supply chain for the sector, which policymakers and businesses must now consider carefully.

The results of the Pilot shed light on some of the main challenges facing a national rollout of energy efficiency measures, which encompass:

  1. The supply chain, which needs to be developed further
  2. The importance of improving social housing across the UK, not only to reduce energy costs, but also to stimulate scale in the market,
  3. The need to address the private rented sector, where tenants are often not in control of improving the energy efficiency of their properties.


About the Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition

Since the launch of the Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition by NatWest, British Gas, Worcester Bosch and Citizens Advice in 2021, our aim has been to raise awareness around the key blockers to upgrading the UK’s housing stock on a national level, taking a consumer-centric approach to the challenge.


Our work to date consists of launching our first report ‘Home is Where the Heat is’, with Lord Deben, former Chair of the Climate Change Committee, running two panel events at COP26 – one of which was the only blue zone event on energy efficiency, dinners with industry stakeholders and Parliamentarians, roundtables with Andy Burnham Mayor of Greater Manchester and Andy Street and the Mayor of the West Midlands.


Last year, in October 2022, we launched our second report in Parliament, which updated on our Home Improvement Pilot programme and set out key asks for the Government. 

About the Home Improvement Pilot programme

Our Home Improvement Pilot programme is designed to identify the key blockers to a nationwide rollout of energy efficiency measures. In total the programme has retrofitted nine households located in Pontypool, London, Kent, Swansea and Surrey.


Find out more on NatWest.com

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