Our project to develop an innovative point-of-sale finance technology solution for residential retrofit decarbonisation has been awarded almost £1.8m in government funding for its 14-month Pilot Phase. This follows an extensive six-month Discovery Phase that ended in October 2023.
With millions of domestic properties requiring energy efficiency upgrades across the country, the point-of-sale finance platform will reduce barriers to funding and support homeowners and residential landlords enhance the energy efficiency of their properties.
POST-FREE (Point-of-Sale Technology for Financing Retrofits & Energy Efficiency) is a collaboration with retrofit decarbonisation consultant Sustainable Energy Services (SES) and fintech Scroll Finance. The government’s Department for Energy Security & Net Zero has enabled the project via the Green Home Finance Accelerator, part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.
Valuable insights on the key barriers to retrofit that consumers face today have been gained during the Discovery Phase of the collaboration for which the project received £136k in initial grant funding, with the next stage of the process intending to translate findings into tangible, real-world applications. Research undertaken showed that the most common barriers to prevent homeowners and landlords from pursuing retrofit work were the high upfront cost and inadequate access to suitable finance options, experienced by 78% of participants who took part in the research.
Our chair and owner Derek Horrocks said: “We firmly believe that retrofit energy efficiency and decarbonisation improvements should be accessible to all, without the financial barriers faced by many consumers. As someone involved in the delivery of life-changing retrofit works across the country, the Green Home Finance Accelerator immediately became an opportunity which I believed could make a difference to many people in the private housing sector, and we’re pleased to be entering the pilot phase with our own solution alongside Scroll Finance.
“We’re aiming to reach thousands of homeowners and private landlords during this next phase, which should yield significant feedback on the solution we’re developing and establish positive community change in the process. We look forward to seeing the results obtained over the next 14 months and wish good luck to those also receiving government funding as part of this green accelerator – innovative solutions are needed now more than ever.”
The Pilot Phase is anticipated to be executed across multiple local authority areas in England and Wales in close proximity to existing social housing decarbonisation projects we are completing. By integrating the POST-FREE solution in the journey of SBS and SES customers, the pilot phase will enable the market to learn about eligible retrofit measures from reliable, expert personnel who will also advise on a PAS 2035-aligned ‘fabric-first’ approach – which will ensure customers achieve their desired outcomes.
Scroll Finance is assembling an initial lender panel that can offer finance options for both individual or a package of measures, and to enable deep retrofit upgrades. These categories were identified in the discovery phase and enable a wide range of improvement costs and customer needs to be met.
The range of finance solutions available at the point-of-sale could include unsecured personal loans, specialist energy efficiency loans, ‘buy now pay later’, green mortgages, and Scroll Finance’s secured financing products. Customers can apply for energy grants – local and national – to seamlessly blend with the selected private finance option.
Ashish Kashyap, CEO and Founder of Scroll Finance, said: “POST-FREE’s core promise is to enable and encourage different players in the energy efficiency and financial ecosystem to participate in retrofitting of UK homes – something that will help deliver better outcomes for all.
“As this project has evolved, we have continued learning and refining our solution, so we expect to continue this improvement process throughout the pilot phase. The owner-occupier and private rented markets are in need of support, and we’re on a mission to deliver a solution which will improve financial flexibility, quality of life and environmental performance via a smooth customer journey offering single or whole house retrofit.”
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