PNZ Carbon and HACT’s Retrofit Credits initiative scoops prestigious Ashden Award for Energy Innovation

It’s only been 12 months since the launch of Retrofit Credits, a new initiative from HACT and its partners PNZ Carbon, but it has already been successful in winning the prestigious annual Ashden Award for Energy Innovation in the UK.  

At a ceremony held on 14th November, HACT was joined by other Ashden Award winners from India, Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya. All the Ashden Award winners were showcased in a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society and will receive grants, global publicity, and connection to funders, investors and partners who can help them scale their projects and create even more impact.  

This is a considerable achievement in recognition of HACT and PNZ Carbon’s work in facilitating the UK’s transition to net zero by funding the affordable retrofitting of British homes from the commercial demand for transparent, localised carbon credits.  

Retrofit Credits not only capture each tonne of carbon reduction created by retrofit works but also have an attached social impact value, based on the UK Social Value Bank, another of HACT’s pioneering initiatives. This enables buyers of our credits to model, monitor, and measure their social impact through improvements in resident health and wellbeing 

As a result of the Energy Redress Scheme funded pilot, Retrofit Credits will raise over £7 million that can be reinvested back into retrofit work. That’s equivalent to another 500 homes being retrofitted, which is another 500 families with warmer, more energy efficient homes, as well as huge reductions in carbon emissions. 

HACT is passionate about decarbonising homes for social housing residents, but this is only one part of the story. We want the investment that results from Retrofit Credits to be locked into local communities, delivering good jobs, affordable warmth and place-based community renewal, for the benefit of local people.  

HACT’s future plans are ambitious – their core focus is to deliver Retrofit Credits at scale through more partnerships, more buyers, new financial instruments, and increased investment, so they can create more impact for individuals and communities.  

Andrew van Doorn, HACT’s chief executive is delighted that the project has been recognised so quickly: 

“We’re incredibly honoured to have won this fantastic and highly acclaimed Ashden award and be recognised, along with our partners PNZ Carbon, for all the hard work from those involved in making our Retrofit Credits ambition a success.  

We’d also like to acknowledge the 22 social housing organisations who participated in our successful pilot, and those buyers who invested in the credits, believing in our vision and supporting us in proving its success – as well as those residents whose homes were retrofitted.  

Retrofit Credits is all about impact and we’re excited about the future and our next ambition for delivering this impact at scale – for people, for place, and ultimately, for our planet.“ 

Simon Turek, Managing Director at PNZ Carbon, said:  

“This award represents the future of domestic retrofitting and the huge social and climate benefits we stand to reap from channelling investment into these projects.  

It’s clear that we all have a role to play in the net zero transition and that government action alone on greening housing won’t suffice. Investors hold the power to drive their capital into the most effective climate and social solutions through high-quality carbon credits generated from retrofitting in their local communities.  

Retrofit Credits are poised to be a game-changer for housing in the UK, delivering environmental benefits for investors, while harnessing funding to create healthier, more affordable, energy-efficient homes and improve lives.” 

Ashden CEO Dr Ashok Sinha said: “Our winners prove people are passionate about creating practical solutions to the climate emergency – whether giving their time to restore rivers in the UK or using clean energy to power up a thriving business in Uganda. And just look what happens as a result: higher incomes, better health, stronger communities and the creation of new jobs. 

“But these brilliant solutions need serious backing from policymakers and investors. For example, this year’s winners include innovations, such as those from HACT, that could unlock millions of pounds to create warm, energy efficient homes across the UK – surely that’s a scheme worth supporting?” 

First-of-its-kind venture launched to fund free decarbonisation of British homes using carbon credits

  • The Powering Net Zero (PNZ) Group, which funds the decarbonisation of British homes through the sale of transparent, UK-generated carbon credits, launches today.
  • Homes represent the biggest barrier to reaching Net Zero, and the PNZ Group provides a feasible and realistic solution to reduce the emissions of our housing stock.
  • Neither households nor the Government will have to foot the bill to decarbonise homes, with funds generated by the sale of carbon credits channelled directly back into retrofit activity.

A coalition of businesses dedicated to financing the decarbonisation of British homes without cost to the Government or households through the sale of UK-generated carbon credits has launched today.

The PNZ Group brings together three businesses with years of expertise in the net zero sector – Arctica Partners, Arete Zero Carbon, and Dynamis Associates. Together, the PNZ Group will deliver a renewable closed-loop ecosystem to finance the climate transition of the housing sector, in a global first-of-its-kind venture.

Homes represent the largest barrier to the UK reaching Net Zero by 2050, and account for almost a quarter of the UK’s total carbon emissions. Under the PNZ Group’s scheme, houses will be retrofitted with equipment like heat pumps and additional insulation, financed by corporate buyers looking to fund local projects which deliver benefits in their areas.

Carbon credits, generated from the emissions reductions produced by the retrofit activity, will be sold on the Voluntary Carbon Market – with funds generated from the sales channelled back to fund additional retrofit work. These locally generated credits will help increase transparency and accountability in the Voluntary Carbon Market, so buyers can see the genuine benefits in real time, in their own communities.

Part of the income from every credit sold by PNZ Group goes back into our proprietary Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which funds the installation of Solar PV and battery systems in households that could otherwise not afford it. The system is installed free of charge, and the cost of consumed energy generated is always below the National Grid price cap. By purchasing credits from our schemes, buyers help to extend PPAs to more of the country’s fuel poor households.  This self-sustaining approach creates a virtuous circle that powers real action on Net Zero.

Last year, an initial pilot of our carbon credits, called Retrofit Credits, in association with the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT), saw 22 housing associations across the UK receive the first tranche of over £7m in funding from the sale of our carbon credits to be reinvested back into their retrofit work.

The work implemented by PNZ Group will bring immense social value to the UK. More than three million households in the UK are in fuel poverty – and cold homes cost the NHS approximately £857m a year. Retrofit projects can reduce the heating demand of homes, increasing their energy efficiency, lowering bills, and ultimately delivering warmer, healthier homes.

Martin Smith, CEO of PNZ Group, said: “In order to meet our ambitious legally-binding Net Zero targets, it’s vital to tackle the significant challenge posed by our carbon-intensive housing. PNZ Group has developed a ground-breaking and first-of-its-kind solution to deliver transformative retrofit activity, without costing the Government, or households, a penny. We’re proud to formalise our partnership today through the creation of the PNZ Group to continue delivering outstanding retrofit activity to change lives all over the UK.”

Andrew van Doorn, CEO of HACT, said: “We have been working with Arctica Partners on the Retrofit Credits initiative since the beginning of 2022. As Arctica Partners becomes part of PNZ Group, we’re excited by what our partnership will bring and the impact we can create expanding the Retrofit Credits service, so that the scale and speed of the decarbonisation of UK housing stock can be accelerated, helping to deliver on the UK’s Net Zero ambitions and commitments.”

For additional information, or to request interviews with representatives of the PNZ Group, contact

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introducing the first closed-loop renewable ecosystem to power Net Zero.

Until now, traditional pathways to Net Zero have been costly, inaccessible and unreliable. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter.

PNZ Group is powering the transition to Net Zero, by funding the affordable decarbonisation of UK homes from the commercial demand for transparent, localised carbon credits. These carbon credits help fund the domestic home retrofit and renewable energy solutions without the need for further Government spending or costs to households.

Our self-sustaining approach brings together leading players from every aspect of the decarbonisation and renewable energy sectors.

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