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Painting the Town Green – A Retrofitting Masterpiece

A blog post on retrofitting from MCAG's Adviser Awareness working group - how MCAG aims to support intermediaries understand the issues and options

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by Green and retrofitting in particular. I’m with Kermit when he said, “it’s not easy being green”. Perhaps like me, you’ve been previously guilty of sweeping the whole subject unceremoniously under the rug. In fact, research has found that 7 in 10 homeowners feel overwhelmed by the idea of retrofitting and 60% of us don’t understand the costs involved either, which further leads to inaction.

The Mortgage Climate Action Group (MCAG) was set up to support intermediaries, helping them to understand and address green issues and solutions like retrofitting. It’s vitally important that those on the front line are comfortable with green home retrofit technologies and the financing options available. By raising awareness among mortgage advisors, we can help individuals and families make choices that not only benefit them financially but also contribute to a more sustainable future for all. That’s not an easy task for advisors in a climate where the industry is currently as changeable as it is resilient.

To proactively support this task MCAG have divided us into four working groups. We form the Advisor Awareness working group. A collaboration of diverse and eclectic experts from across our industry; all with a steely eyed focus on education and awareness.

For today’s inaugural missive we look at Santander, who have also had awareness and education in sight with their Greener Streets Campaign.

According to research carried out by Santander, nearly two thirds of homeowners wish that everyone in their neighbourhood would make just one or two eco-improvements to make their area a greener place. Baby steps if you will. In view of this statistic Santander partnered with DIY expert and TV personality, Craig Phillips to show homeowners how small, simple and cost-effective steps can kick-start a retrofitting journey. 

In a bid to show how easy it can be, Santander are taking to the streets in areas where retrofitting awareness is lowest to carry-out simple eco-improvements on a range of community buildings. First to receive the upgrades were Lark Lane Community Centre in Liverpool, and Glasgow Caledonian University’s Student Life area. The initiatives included the installation of energy saving lightbulbs, draught excluders, radiator reflectors and wait for it…. redecoration with the bank’s own “greener streets” paint range…

This for many has been seen as the most exciting part of this project! Santander’s “Green” paint was developed with ecological paint expert, Graphenstone UK3. The lime paints remarkably absorb CO2 as it dries and cures, partially offsetting its manufacturing and distribution emissions. Clever hey? Whilst Santander chose a fetching shade of green, the paint is available a wide range of colour options – whatever your chosen palette.

It highlights that small changes can lead to big differences in making steps towards the blue sky of full retrofitting. Recognising retrofitting can be broken down into smaller steps, can help prevent proverbial rug sweeping and can also make conversations with clients around this less overwhelming for advisors.

Our commitment as the Advisor Awareness group will be to reach out regularly to our community to ensure we collaborate and educate for the benefit of us all professionally, and personally.

As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress and working together is success.” We will all make a change together.