High Quality Data

High Quality Data

High Quality Data 
Key Enabler to Retrofitting at Scale

Retrofitting consultant

Having high quality data when planning a home energy upgrade is an essential part of a successful retrofitting project."

– Xavier Dubuisson

21st June 2023 by Xavier Dubuisson of RetroKit

Having high quality data when planning a home energy upgrade is an essential part of a successful retrofitting project – perhaps the most important part of your retrofitting toolbox.  However, it can be easier said than done. With so much data, and so many variables, identifying the starting point can be a challenge and done manually, is hugely resource intensive. 

Yet having the right information and processes in place, can transform a daunting task to a manageable project. In this blog post, we examine how powerful data analytics can support housing providers, local authorities, building contractors, engineers and One Stop Shops with integrated planning, decision making and project prioritisation. 

With an ambitious target of converting 500,000 homes to a B2 rating by 2030, the Government’s Climate Action Plan is tackling the consumption profile of Ireland’s housing stock. The potential reduction in gas house green emissions is considerable, with a quarter of Ireland’s total energy consumed in homes, through heating, lighting and use of appliances. Whilst housing built since 2015 is far more efficient than those built prior to this, Ireland still has a sizeable task ahead, in consolidating, assessing and deploying the best, most energy efficient and cost effective solutions, at scale. 

To remain on target, 50,000 homes a year need to undergo significant energy upgrades, which is a sizeable target for an industry already under pressure from shortages in labour availability and retrofitting skills. Long term investment in skills development and training from the state will be key, as will the deployment of decision support systems that support project planning and align with the large scale energy efficiency improvements needed.

The collection and interpretation of high quality data is crucial to the development of such systems, with layered datasets, enabling detailed analysis of multiple factors such as emission reductions, energy saving goals, resources required and of course budgetary considerations. Through digitising and consolidating data, a project team can test a number of scenarios and thus improve the quality and ease of decision making. 

This was a key factor in the team at RetroKit in designing a cloud based database solution to work with and support decision making. With over 50 years of retrofitting experience between them, the founders used their knowledge of the industry and the challenges involved to create a software solution that uses BER data and GIS. It then applies advanced analytics to this data to develop a highly detailed analysis of retrofitting measures, that are evidence based, have the highest potential for success, and can underpin the development of a retrofitting strategy at scale, while taking account of project specific considerations.

The advanced data analytics software can identify the dwellings that will most benefit from home energy upgrading, prioritising based on a project’s specific parameters and KPIs such as BER rating, heat loss indications, CO2 emissions, energy costs, etc. The software can also prioritise based on location (taking an area based approach) and by dwelling archetype (eg, main heating fuel, age of construction, wall type, etc). Without the software, this would be a hugely labour intensive manual task, which few project teams would have the available resources to undertake.

Through warmer homes and reduced energy bills, the benefits range from climate action, to health and wellbeing, to the eradication of fuel poverty and employment creation. To meet its emission reduction targets and for Ireland to play its part in limiting global warming to within 1.5C, energy use in homes must be addressed and scaled rapidly. Retrofitting is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of achieving a sizeable reduction in our national emissions footprint, improving living standards and lifestyles at the same time. Powerful data analytics are a key component in expediating the move from project planning, to prioritisation, to ultimately action. 

At RetroKit our mission is to empower our clients. RetroKit’s cloud-based digital platform is dedicated to upscaling energy retrofit in housing and we estimate the database can reduce the cost of planning a large scale energy retrofit project by between 70 and 80%, whilst also delivering better investment decisions. Step one of this is building the customisable database. Get in touch with us to learn more. 

Our vision is for everyone to be able to live in a comfortable, healthy and climate-friendly home.



Making Housing Energy Efficient

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Making Housing in Ireland Energy Efficient

A podcast with CEO Xavier Dubuisson and Council CEO Máirtín Breathnach,

Our CEO, Xavier Dubuisson stainable energy in Ireland and internationally, he has the perfect expertise to build a start-up dedicated to upscaling home energy upgrades with innovative digital solutions.

RetroKit is a software company dedicated to unlocking the housing energy renovation challenge with digitalisation. Over the past few years, the company have been developing RetroKit with a dedicated team of experts specialising in sustainable energy, data analysis, software development and GIS.

In the podcast hosted by Council CEO Máirtín Breathnach, Xavier discusses the future of making homes more energy efficient in Ireland and how we need to take action to help the environment through energy upgrades.

Xavier highlights the residential sector is responsible for 25% of Ireland’s energy usage and is facing two major imperatives. Firstly, reducing its carbon emissions to net zero carbon by 2050. Secondly, eradicating fuel poverty. This affects up to 16% of Irish homes, with this figure expected to rise this winter due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Furthermore, Xavier notes that only 2% of Irish homes receive an energy upgrade annually and 70% are still in need of an energy retrofit. He discusses the role that Retrokit can play in this energy upgrade process, empowering clients to reduce the carbon footprint in housing, to alleviate fuel poverty, and improve the health and wellbeing of householders.

To gain further insights from this thought-provoking podcast, we invite you to read the full article and listen to the entire podcast on the council website: https://council.ie/making-housing-in-ireland-energy-efficient-podcast-with-retrokit/

Our vision is for everyone to be able to live in a comfortable, healthy and climate-friendly home.

Supporting One Stop Shops to grow capacity

Supporting One Stop Shops to grow capacity

Supporting One Stop Shops to grow capacity

Retrofitting consultant

RetroKit's software solution uses advanced data analytics to develop highly detailed analysis of retrofitting measures, prioritizing evidence-based, cost-effective upgrades to accelerate the national efforts in achieving energy efficiency goals."

Supporting the Home Energy Upgrade Sector Through Maximising Data Potential

With the launch in February of the National Home Energy Upgrade scheme, we saw a very welcome pickup in momentum from the government with the commitment to sizable funding to back the target of 500,000 home energy upgrades to a B2 rating by 2030. We need to make this target happen from a climate, energy security, energy efficiency, cost reduction, and a social and health perspective. How do we make this happen? How can we ramp up the number of homes being upgraded annually? And how can we do this in the most efficient and cost-effective way? While skills, materials, and householder engagement are of course central to the success of these plans, so too is the way we use data! How we interpret data, how we consolidate it to maximise its value, and how we use it to support enhanced decision making, scaled solutions, and optimised outcomes for householders is a fundamental game changer and can significantly accelerate national efforts! At RetroKit we’re identifying and developing the solutions, disrupting the old ways, and maximising our clients time and resources. We’re committed to Ireland’s transition to a better energy future, and through unlocking the opportunity of data and digitisation, we’re catalysing the best possible outcomes that work for people, planet, and performance.

While housing built in the last decade is far more efficient than those built in the previous decades, Ireland still has a considerable task ahead to consolidate, assess, and deploy the optimal, most energy-efficient, and cost-effective energy upgrade solutions at scale. Recognising the challenges leads us to develop the solutions! And at RetroKit, this focused our minds on how we can support those engaged in home energy upgrades to scale solutions and zero in on the opportunity. Identifying the diversity, inconsistencies, and separated nature of Irish data available, RetroKit’s multidisciplinary team designed a user-friendly cloud-based database solution to work with and support decision making. Through maximising the potential of the data using powerful data analytics, we’re supporting project teams to move from planning to action in a much shorter timeframe. What once was a hugely labour-intensive manual task, frequently prone to error due to the variety of systems and data sources and for which project teams had to dedicate significant time and resources, our RetroKit software is making planning renovation projects much easier and quicker, freeing up project teams to get on with the doing.

Combining BER data, GIS, and data analytics, RetroKit’s software solution uses actual energy datasets and advanced analytics to develop a highly detailed analysis of retrofitting measures that have the highest potential, are evidence-based, and which can robustly inform the development of a home energy upgrade strategy at scale. The advanced data analytics software can prioritise based on the specific project parameters such as BER grade, CO2 emissions, energy costs, location, and a range of other characteristics. Most recently used by Cork City Council to identify and prioritise retrofitting measures for over a hundred social housing properties in Cork City, the RetroKit software was the key tool supporting the project team in optimising budgetary inputs while supporting better energy and health outcomes for residents.

One Stop Shop for climate change

The SEAI’s One Stop Shop (OSS) service providers will have a significant role to play in meeting our 2030 target. And RetroKit can support providers to reach their targets. Aligned with the NHEU scheme, RetroKit supports productivity, reduces compliance-related administration e.g., with grant schemes and reduces planning costs significantly in terms of staff time and consultants’ costs. Ensuring compatibility with project parameters, the software also incorporates an energy conservation measures database with unit cost. This database is fully customisable to reflect pricing and other parameters of the OSS. Measures can be combined in any number of retrofit scenarios across any number of dwellings. RetroKit has integrated the SEAI Trusted Partner API into its platform, allowing its users to access BER data on behalf of homeowners with a few clicks. This data then flows seamlessly into the process of generating home energy upgrade proposals. Supporting now and in the future, RetroKit will play an important role in helping OSS consolidating their IT solutions, to enable the upscaling of their operations.

 There’s no doubt that the NHEU scheme was a timely boost from government, bringing certainty to providers, and offering practical steps to benefit households. And while it’s become apparent that even though climate change is growing concern for more and more people, it is the potential savings and affordability that drives action at the scale needed! As energy bills rise, we’re seeing the increasing pressure on households to manage heating bills and the worry caused by anticipating future price rises. Being able to demonstrate to householders the most effective and cost-efficient solutions based on a detailed analysis can significantly support householders to engage and progress with home energy upgrade applications, and to avail of the government grant support which is already proving very popular. RetroKit presents the most suitable and cost-effective solutions to householders for their homes using a range of reporting options, supporting decision making with clear and concise information.  From start to finish, our innovative software will support you to be a market leader, to expand and grow your operations and to meet demand for the NHEU scheme.

Our vision is for everyone to be able to live in a comfortable, healthy and climate-friendly home.