FAQs about Ecofurb

What is an Ecofurb Plan?
An Ecofurb Plan is a personalised report designed to help you identify the most effective energy efficiency measures for your home. We tailor the Plan to your property and your energy usage patterns, your budget and other preferences.

It considers the age of the property, lighting and heating systems, ventilation, and any heritage considerations such as conservation areas or listing. It will draw on a full building condition report that considers any structural defects or leaks that may need repair before certain energy efficiency works. And it includes architectural elevations, floor plans and a link to a 360 degree ‘digital twin’ which will help you and your Retrofit Coordinator, and potentially installers, to explore options without the need for more visits.

Using our specialised in-house software, your Retrofit Coordinator will analyse the data from your Home Survey to prepare retrofit recommendations. Typically, we prioritise recommendations based on their cost-effectiveness. However, we understand that each homeowner may have different ambitions. We will ask you to complete a Homeowner Survey which helps us understand your priorities and any other factor we should include in the Plan. From that, we can customise the report to align with your specific goals, whether it is reducing carbon footprint, lowering energy bills, achieving net-zero, or adhering to a particular budget for larger retrofit projects.

What is a Retrofit Coordinator?
A Retrofit Coordinator is an individual who is responsible for overseeing the assessment of dwellings as well as the subsequent specification, monitoring, and evaluation of energy efficiency measures. They are primarily responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing the technical and process risks commonly associated with domestic retrofit projects. The role involves overseeing the design, specification, and subsequent post-installation monitoring and evaluation of energy efficiency measures in accordance with PAS 2035:20191.
Our team has impressive 125 years of experience in the sector, with a breadth of experience. Previous positions held have included Domestic Energy Assessors, Property Surveyors, Commercial Energy Assessors, Retrofit Assessors and Coordinators, Installers, Engineers, Compliance Analysts, and Auditors.
They have worked for homeowners, Local Authorities, Energy and Utility Firms and Independent Installation Companies, bringing a diverse wealth of experience from across the industry.

What is a Retrofit Assessor?
A Retrofit Assessor is a professional who specializes in evaluating the energy efficiency of existing buildings. They inspect existing homes to determine the best way to make them more energy efficient. They evaluate all aspects of the structure including insulation, heating and cooling systems, ventilation, and lighting.

Their work is quality assured by our Retrofit Coordinators.

What areas do you cover?
The Ecofurb Plan is available to homeowners and landlords on mainland Great Britain. Contact hello@ecofurb.com with your address if you wish us to travel elsewhere in the UK, additional fees may apply.
Our installation service is currently expanding into national coverage, please bear with us while we expand our network of installers.

Does it need to be cold weather in order to carry out my home survey?
No, your survey can be carried out at any time of year, but ideally during daylight hours so your assessor can inspect the outside of your home. The Retrofit Assessor measures walls, roofs, floors, windows and insulation, and assesses ventilation. This is then used to calculate the energy loss from your home. The outside temperature is not relevant and will not affect the assessment.

How long does the Ecofurb Home Survey take?
The Ecofurb Home Survey usually takes between 2 and 3 hours to complete. Exceptionally large homes may take longer, and flats or smaller properties may be closer to 1 hour.

Do I need to be present for the Ecofurb Home Survey?
No, if you or a trusted adult (age over 18) can let us into your property, you do not have to be present while we conduct the survey. The Retrofit Assessor sent to your property is there to collect data and measurements of your property and they will also take lots of photos. The trusted adult will need to know their way around the home. The Assessor may ask them questions such as where the heating systems are in the home, and how to access the loft. You can ask your Retrofit Coordinator any questions you may have about different measures, and their suitability for your home, in your 30 -minute follow-up consultation call.
So, rest assured, if you are busy or working from home – it is no problem; we can conduct the survey without assistance beyond a couple of questions.
If there is no responsible adult to let the Assessor into the home then a cancellation charge may apply, see our Terms of Service.

What access do I need to provide for the Ecofurb Home Survey?
The Retrofit Assessor will need access to all rooms and have space to take measurements of walls, windows, and radiators, as necessary. You should provide access to loft spaces so that the Assessor can access all areas of the home. The Retrofit Assessor reserves the right to not use any access provided if they deem it unsafe.
If the home is not accessible then a cancellation charge may apply, see our Terms of Service.

Do you consider electrical appliances in your Home Survey?
The Retrofit Assessor will not include electrical appliances such as TVs, fridges, and kettles in the Home Survey. They will record details of fixed electrical systems, such as water heaters, electrical heating, and fixed lighting (pendants, down lights).

Are you the only people doing what you do?
No, there are others, but we were doing this first and have good reasons to think we are the best in the business. We know that homeowners are uncertain about what is best for their home, and whether now is the time to invest in changes. Our service goes the extra mile to tailor advice to the homeowner’s individual priorities; and to assure quality and avoid surprises, from our free online advice to the single, independent retrofit coordination service from advice to installation.

Why should I use Ecofurb rather than someone else?
Ecofurb is the product of our practical experience over the past twenty years. Team members have experience in delivering advice for over two million homes, building supply chains, protecting consumers, and managing jobs across the UK. Most importantly, Ecofurb team members have upgraded their own homes with insulation, glazing, ventilation, and heat pumps. There is no better way for us to learn what homeowners need from our service!

Do you use thermographic imaging?
No. We use the approved standard methodology for calculating the energy efficiency of existing homes, which does not involve thermal imaging. The procedure is based on measuring what is visible to the naked eye, and on a set of defined, evidence-based assumptions for elements that are not visible. These assumptions are based on the age of each building part and the building regulations in force at the time of construction.
Thermal imaging is a non-contact method of detecting the temperature of the surface of an object, as well as an indicator of the presence of moisture. Thermal imaging cameras identify the location of defects, such as missing, or failing insulation, but they only work at certain times of year. They are also a good engagement tool, as they broadly illustrate the heat loss from the home. They do not add any extra value to the assessment of energy use you will already find in our Plans.
Furthermore, thermal imaging is highly dependent on the specific environmental conditions at the time of the survey and so while potentially useful for pinpointing areas for action, it does not give quantitative information. Hence, it is not necessary as part of a full home energy assessment, and we do not do them as a standard.

Do you recommend specific products and materials?
No, we recommend generic types of material that are most appropriate for your home, but the selection of a manufacturer and product is the responsibility of you and your installer. If we specified a particular product, it would undermine our unbiased retrofit advice service.
Our installation service ***coming soon*** ensures that any materials and products used meet our Technical and Performance Standards.

Can you advise me on the design of my extension?
No, our service advises on energy efficiency upgrades to the existing parts of your home. If the dimensions of your extension are already known, we can take it into account in our model for an extra fee, but the design of the extension is the responsibility of your architect or designer.

I have used your free Ecofurb Options online tool. Why should I buy an Ecofurb Plan?
The information we have for your home in our Plan Builder tool is the best publicly available information, but it may be inaccurate or out of date. For example, one of our data sources is Energy Performance Certificate data; these Certificates are valid for ten years, and you (or previous owners) may have renovated the house in that time.
Our online tool automatically generates a shortlist of options from an extensive list of potential retrofit measures but there may be better options once we know more about your Home and priorities. The online advice tool gives a good indication of what work, and budget, may be involved but is not a Plan for your home.
The Ecofurb Plan is based on up-to-date information on your home, your goals, and your preferences for different measures. If you purchase an Ecofurb Plan, our first step is to send a retrofit assessor to survey your home to collect property data, measurements, and photos. We also send you a Homeowner Survey to find out more about your priorities, so you can be sure our recommendations are bespoke, accurate, and up to date. The measures recommended in your Plan are hand-picked by your dedicated Retrofit Coordinator and based on your own motivations/priorities.

I own a flat, is an Ecofurb Plan still suitable for my home?
Yes, but your ability to install measures will limit the recommendations the Plan can make. Freeholders should deliver major fabric and heating improvements to whole blocks, in consultation with residents.
I live in a Listed property; can I still get an Ecofurb survey and Plan?
Definitely. We can assess all existing properties and provide advice for Listed Buildings and any homes in conservation areas.

Can you provide a structural assessment or condition report?
We are not qualified to provide any advice regarding structural elements or defects of the home, but we will highlight any obvious defects so that you can consult an appropriately qualified expert and investigate it further.

My location, type of home, or local planning rules restrict the type of measures I can install. Can I still get an Ecofurb Plan?
Yes, we will tailor our recommendations to what you tell us about the restrictions on your home.
Do you offer Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)?
We have built our software and surveys in line with the national approved methodology and software for assessing the energy efficiency of existing homes, called RdSAP, and our reports includes estimates of current and projected EPC ratings.
If you would like a certificate to demonstrate the improved energy performance of your home after installing efficiency measures, we can provide an EPC for an additional fee. The cost of an Ecofurb Plan does not include the production of an EPC.

Can you assist with planning permission?
We will highlight in your Ecofurb Plan if your Council requires planning permission for certain measures. Legally, you as the homeowner are responsible for ensuring planning permission is in place, however our installers will be happy to support you with the application or may make the application on your behalf for a small additional fee.

I already have an architect. Can you collaborate with them?
You are welcome to share your Ecofurb Plan with your architect. They are welcome to attend the 30-minute follow-up call to discuss your Plan, and the design of your improvements is the responsibility of your architect.

How accurate will the cost estimates be in my Ecofurb Report?
The costs shown in the Ecofurb Plan are indicative. They are the current best estimate we have for those measures and are subject to change. Furthermore, these costs only include the works directly pertaining to the energy efficiency measures. They do not include ancillary or preliminary measures i.e. any repair or maintenance work required in advance/alongside installation.

What software do you use to calculate the energy performance of my home?
We use our own software to model the current and projected energy performance of your home. This is based on RdSAP, the approved national calculation methodology for existing homes. We have built upon it by incorporating thousands of measures, latest energy tariffs and the impact of more renewable energy in the UK’s energy supplies for more up-to-date outputs.

How is an Ecofurb Plan different from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
In simple terms, an Ecofurb Plan and an EPC use the same calculator, but the inputs are different, along with significant differences in our approach:
• Assessor qualifications. Our surveyors are Retrofit Assessors who have additional skills and knowledge to the Domestic Energy Assessors who produce EPCs. We use the best, most experienced Retrofit Assessors we can find, with a minimum three years’ experience.
• Length and thoroughness of survey. An assessment for an EPC may take as little as half an hour in your home. This is not long enough to produce a detailed, thorough retrofit assessment.
• Methodology. Both products use the same basic methodology (RdSAP), but our in-house software builds upon RdSAP to produce results that better reflect the homeowners’ needs, the detail of the home, and the impact of changing energy costs and more renewable energy in the UK’s energy supply.
• Recommendations. Both products include recommended improvements to your home. However, the recommendations in an EPC only consider a limited number of options. The Domestic Energy Assessor, who prepares an EPC, can only make limited amendments. Our software generates a much longer list of potential improvements. Your Retrofit Coordinator then hand selects the most appropriate improvements for your home from this list.
• Report length. An Ecofurb Plan has much more (useful!) information than an EPC. An Ecofurb Plan explains the assumptions we have made, why we have made certain recommendations, why we have not made certain other recommendations and outlines issues that you should consider if you wish to accept the advice and install measures.
• Report production. A Domestic Energy Assessor produces an EPC through an automated process. The EPC contains standard text that is the same on every EPC. Our Retrofit Coordinator will refine your Ecofurb Plan with your home and your priorities in mind. It includes a technical review by your Retrofit Coordinator and tailored to your home.
• Conventions and assumptions. When an energy assessor produces an EPC, they must follow conventions that make assumptions about your home, and the importance of different measures. This is to ensure standardisation in EPCs from home to home. However, our team can deviate from these conventions and add in detail to provide you with more useful advice given your priorities, plans, and budget.

Does the Ecofurb service include a heat-loss assessment?
Yes, modelling heat loss from your home, and identifying its causes, is a large part of what we do. However, the Ecofurb service does not include the room-by-room heat-loss assessment necessary to size and design a heat pump system. If you wish to install a heat pump, a competent heat pump installer will conduct a further assessment as part of their system design.

Do you conduct Ecofurb Surveys on commercial properties?
No. The Ecofurb Whole House Plan service is for homes only. Our methodology and software are not appropriate for business premises.
I sometimes use my home for business purposes. Can I have an Ecofurb Plan?
If you sometimes use part of your home for business purposes, e.g. working from a home office, we can still provide an Ecofurb Plan. However, if your property comprises a home and a business premises on the same site, our service will only cover your home.

Does your survey include an assessment of damp / mould / ventilation?
Our survey would highlight any damp and mould and the existing ventilation provision, and the Plan will recommend ventilation where appropriate to minimise the risk of damp and mould.
We are not qualified to identify other causes of damp or propose remediation and we would recommend getting advice from a damp expert before you proceed to getting quotes for retrofit measures.

I have bought an Ecofurb Plan – where can I find the Terms and Conditions of Service?
These are the Ecofurb Terms and Conditions of Service if you need to refer to them later.