Changeworks, Scotland’s leading environmental charity, recently launched a new innovative service that will support homeowners to make their home more energy efficient.
EcoCosi from Changeworks is a comprehensive service that provides tailored solutions, advice, and end to end support to households through the process of retrofitting their home.
As part of the launch, we want to introduce the EcoCosi team to you to learn more about why they believe in retrofit, starting with Marc Brammer, our Senior Retrofit Coordinator…
What is your role at EcoCosi from Changeworks?
I am the Senior Retrofit Coordinator for the service. This means my role is to work with all the stakeholders in the process – householders, assessors, installers – to get the best possible result on time.
I am responsible for running the software that generates the Whole Home Report and working with the assessors to get all the necessary details to generate accurate results and recommendations.
Then I work with the installers and the householders to get contracts in place and get a schedule for works in place. At the end of the project I work with assessors to coordinate assessment data for determining whether the project was a success and helping the householder with commissioning and handover.
Tell us more about your background and how you came to work at Changeworks?
For a long time I worked in the sustainable finance field working on research to help investors deal with climate change, bad labour practices and other societal and environmental problems. I then reached a cross-roads in my career when I moved to Scotland to get married.
I trained as a domestic energy assessor and started a solar PV and battery installation business. After seven years and bit of commercial success I realised that I wanted to have a bigger impact in this area and to do that I would need to work with a bigger team. So Changeworks seemed like an obvious choice given their extensive experience delivering for the social housing market.
Find out more about EcoCosi from Changeworks and how we can help retrofit your home.
Why is retrofit important to you?
I am a passionate practitioner for decarbonising the built environment. There are so many ways that we feel powerless to make real permanent change in our society, but retrofitting our homes is one way we can make a permanent, positive change.
It’s one that has a win-win element to it because we are making better homes that are more comfortable and cheaper to operate, while at the same time permanently reducing their impact on the environment.
There’s not much out there that compares in terms of person satisfaction in changing the world.
What particular piece of advice do you like to give clients when discussing their retrofit plans?
It’s hard to nail down a specific piece of advice because everyone is looking for different things when they engage in this process. But in general, take the long-view. Don’t decide that you can’t do something just because you are unable to do everything right now. You can take one step per year and spread the cost and inconvenience.
Just start with improving the fabric and move on from there. You will never regret taking this step.
Find out more about our current vacancies, meet more of our team and learn about what it’s like to work at Changeworks.
How would you describe your colleagues within EcoCosi and the skills they bring to the team?
My colleagues are enthusiastic, talented, smart and dedicated. We have such a wide range of skills in the team, from supply chain management to business systems and development. One thing that stands out to me is that everyone is a good communicator and we are all working towards the same objectives. I’m really excited by what we are building and I know my colleagues share this feeling.
Creating a warmer home, lowering energy bills and tackling the climate emergency are just some of the reasons to retrofit. What do you think is the best reason to be retrofitting homes in Scotland and why?
As the question indicates there isn’t just one best reason to retrofit your home. The best reason is the one that most fits the outcomes you want to see.
We should, however, let people know that in order for Scotland to meet its commitment to climate change targets and ensure our children’s future, we need to be renovating tens of thousands of homes a year into low and zero carbon buildings and we are nowhere near that target.
So for me de-carbonising is the best and most satisfying part of the retrofit process. Everything else is just an added benefit!