Optimised Retrofit: A Welsh Government Programme

Saving energy, reducing bills, tackling the climate emergency

What is Optimised Retrofit?

Optimised Retrofit is about bringing together home improvements and clever technologies to make your home as easy and cheap to heat as possible.

Making our homes more energy efficient helps us to tackle the climate emergency together (homes are responsible for around 20% of carbon emissions in the UK) and is also a great way to help save money on energy bills!


Once the upgrades have been made to your home, your Intelligent Energy System will make the new technologies work together to maximise your energy efficiency, comfort and bill-saving potential.

We are committed to ensuring we maintain your home to the highest standard so that it can help support your well-being day-to-day. These upgrade works are part of this ongoing commitment to ensure your home is modern, efficient, and fit for the future.

The future is now!

Over the next 10-20 years all of our homes are going to have to be upgraded (that’s a total of 1.4million homes in Wales alone!). Sooner or later, everyone will be getting on board.

So far, more than 2,000 households in Wales have signed up for the first phase of the OR programme. Meanwhile, thousands more are undergoing similar green home improvements programmes across the rest of the UK.

Not only will you avoid rising bills, but the work itself is being paid for by the Welsh Government and your landlord.Make sure you don’t miss out!

What happens to your home

Below, we take you through each step of the Optimised Retrofit process.

1. Whole Home Survey: understanding your home

Every home is different!

Therefore, the first part of the Optimised Retrofit Process is for an experienced member of our team to visit your home to understand more about it. This is called a Whole Home Survey.

We’ll take lots of measurements and map out all the important details. We’ll know what is already working well in your home, and what we can improve to make it more energy efficient moving forward.

To make each home as energy efficient as possible we need to understand these key things:

  1. The way the home is built and how well it keeps in heat – does the air circulate effectively?
  2. The heating system – is it efficient?
  3. The home’s day-to-day energy usage – are you using (and paying for) more than you need?

In the first instance we will be in touch to explain the home improvement works in more detail. Then one of our surveyors to visit your home to undertake the Whole Home Survey at a time that works for you.

2. Coming up with a plan to make your home energy efficient

We’ll take all the information gathered from the Whole Home Survey and come up with a plan. This will figure out the best way to minimise the energy use in your home.

Our pathway to zero app will work out which home improvements will work most effectively in your home, and the best order for these to be carried out.

The aim is to reach a point where your home is responsible for ZERO carbon emissions (hence the pathway to zero). This may not be fully possible; in which case the aim is to reduce the carbon footprint of each home as much as we can.

The timescale for completing the home improvements will vary depending on the survey.

It may be that all the improvements can be carried out straight away, or they may be phased over a number of months or years to fit with other factors.

3. Getting clever about managing energy: our Intelligent Energy System

The energy hub makes sure your home improvements work together.

The Intelligent Energy System includes two thing – a smart meter and an Intelligent Energy System.

This collects information about how energy is used in your home and figures out how it can be managed in the most energy efficient and cost-effective way.

Smart Meter

You may already have a smart meter in your home – after all more than 23 million have been installed to date across the UK!

But if not, we will need to install one as part of the Intelligent Energy System, as it will provide information about the amount of gas and electricity being used in your home.

Intelligent Energy System

As well as ensuring you have a smart meter, we will fit an Intelligent Energy System (IES) into your home. This is an even smaller box that provides further detailed information about the way energy is being used in your home.

Simply put, the IES is the latest way of controlling how and when your home is heated. Just like adding a timer to a gas boiler, or a thermostat to the wall, the IES is what will make your home easier to heat.

We will chat to you to agree the best place for this to be positioned in your home, but it is likely to be somewhere like in a cupboard or under the stairs.

Smart app (optional)

If you like, the Intelligent Energy System can be linked to a smart app called Sero Life.

This enables you to easily control the heating and hot water in your home whilst helping you to monitor, manage and reduce your energy bills.

This can be installed on your phone or another electronic device.

4. What kind of home improvements can you expect?

As mentioned above, the number and type of improvements undertaken for your home will be different depending on your home, the way it’s built, and its current energy performance.

However, examples of the types of home improvements include:

  • Wall, loft or floor insulation – to keep your home warmer
  • Windows – new windows to keep your home warmer, i.e. double glazing
  • Heating upgrades – providing a more efficient heating boiler
  • Heat pumps – replacing your heating system with a more modern (and greener) electric heat pump system
  • Solar panels – to produce your own renewable energy
  • Solar hot water panels – to provide energy efficient hot water for the property
  • Batteries – in-home battery enabling storage of low carbon energy (either produced through solar panels or from the energy network when there is a high level of renewable energy available – such as on windy or sunny days)
  • Smart energy controls – to give you more control over keeping your home warm and comfortable

Any one of these improvements will make your home easier to heat. This has the potential to help tackle fuel poverty for those residents struggling most to pay their bills.

As with any home improvement works, there may be some disruption while the works take place, but our team will work with you to manage and minimise this.

In the long run you’ll have a more modern, energy efficient home that is friendlier to the environment, cosier to live in, and cheaper to run.

This is a fantastic opportunity to get ahead of the curve – don’t miss out!

Why action is needed: the Climate Emergency and reaching Zero Carbon

As you may know, carbon is a greenhouse gas that is emitted in different amounts by a range of human activities – including our agriculture, our travel, our industry and our homes.

Our homes are responsible for producing approximately 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions. This is a result of the energy we use to heat our homes and hot water. We also use energy to run our appliances, such as washing machines and TVs.

The increasing levels of carbon being emitted across the globe is contributing to the global climate emergency. Therefore, the UK has committed to reducing emissions to zero by the year 2050. This means there will be no additional increase of carbon going into the atmosphere.

This will be done by introducing cleaner energy sources (such as solar farms), as well as by reducing the amount of carbon we use day-to-day by normalising modern technologies (such as electric vehicles and heat pumps).

Protect our future generations – act now!