Case Study : Kat + Iain

  • upgraded storm doors
  • loft insulation
  • room-in-roof insulation
  • underfloor insulation
  • upgraded radiators
  • heat pump


Kat and Iain Husbands had been considering removing gas and making their home net zero before a failing gas boiler spurred them into action. 

“All of this is inspired by huge climate anxiety,” says Kat. “I got to the point where I only used hot water for a shower.” 

When, in late 2022, a gas engineer advised their gas boiler was unlikely to survive another year, Kat and Iain decided to act. “We thought, let’s get on with it,” says Kat. 

The Husbands upgraded their loft insulation and started researching on sites like Fully Charged and Heat Geek. 

“Then, a friend mentioned her sister-in-law Nina had just had a heat pump installed,” says Kat. “We visited Nina’s house, and they had done a full retrofit. They’d installed underfloor heating and a heat pump. That was amazing to see – that it was possible in this type of house,” says Kat. 

Nina recommended that the Husbands contact Loco Home Retrofit. “We hadn’t heard of Loco Home yet. We jumped in with two feet, joined and started going to meetings,” says Kat. 

“We hadn’t heard of Loco Home yet. We jumped in with two feet, joined and started going to meetings.”

In June 2023, Loco Home conducted a home assessment and kicked the project into a new gear with a series of recommendations. Loco Home also provided expert advice and helped assuage any concerns.

“We had been given the impression that a heat pump would need underfloor heating,” says Kat. “That was a disruptive route we didn’t want to go down, so it was reassuring to have Loco Home say: ‘With those pipes and the space you’ve got for radiators, it’s going to be totally fine without underfloor heating,’” adds Kat.


Loco Home Retrofit pointed the Husbands toward Home Energy Scotland funding. The couple had previously self-funded their loft insulation and replacement of their back door and front storm doors.

“First, you must contact Home Energy Scotland to confirm you can apply,” says Kat. “That’s when we started getting quotes for heat pumps and insulation – the two major pieces of work Loco Home had recommended.”

Loco Home was heavily involved at this stage, connecting the couple with installers and offering advice. “Chris Carus [Co-founder and Executive Officer at Loco Home Retrofit CIC] was here when the installer was doing their survey – that was really helpful and reassuring.”

Kat says the funding process requires perseverance to keep the wheels in motion. 

“We had heard horror stories about how long it takes to get anything from Home Energy Scotland,” says Kat. “I got made redundant last summer, which meant I had time to phone Home Energy Scotland and get quotes. You have to stay on them.” 

“We managed to get three quotes for the heat pump. We went with reliable installers that Loco Home had put us in touch with”.

“We also needed ‘Room in Roof’ insulation, a difficult type that few installers do, so were only able to get one quote,” says Kat. “Some companies would just ignore emails and not respond to calls.” 

Thankfully, Loco Home was able to connect the Husbands with a contractor. The couple’s persistence, allied with Loco Home’s expertise, paid off. 

“Once we got the quotes, we applied to Home Energy Scotland. It took a month for them to agree to pay for it, and then we could start the work,” says Kat.

“We got the maximum funding of £12,000 of grant and £9,000 loan, which we’re paying back interest-free for ten years, £75 a month. It cost just short of £2,000 on top of that because there’s a maximum amount that Home Energy Scotland will cover.”

Despite receiving confirmation, the couple were required to pay for the work up front while waiting for the funds.

“The problem was that Home Energy Scotland takes so long to do anything; we had to cover the entire amount for about 25 days before we got the money back,” says Kat. “It was frustrating. They were very difficult to get through to and slow to respond,” she adds.


Work started in November 2023, almost a year after the couple’s boiler was declared at risk. Unlike the protracted funding process, it progressed efficiently. 

“It went surprisingly quickly,” says Kat. The Husbands found installing the heat pump not too disruptive, other than the minor inconvenience of staying in a hotel for three days, which was only necessary because the work was being carried out in winter. 

“They removed all the radiators and replaced them. In most cases, it was the same width as the old radiator, just thicker.” 

In comparison, the Room in Roof work proved a little more disruptive. It involved removing the lath and plaster finish, insulating between the rafters and then re-finishing with plasterboard, plaster and paint.

“It was challenging to empty the rooms and protect everything from dust,” says Kat. “We moved out because of the amount of dust.”

Over the five days of work, the windows had to remain open due to the dust created, meaning the Husbands returned to a cold house. “We had to do a lot of cleaning before we could start putting rooms back together again.”

“It was challenging to empty the rooms and protect everything from dust. We moved out because of the amount of dust.


Kat advises anyone looking to undertake similar work to seek out Loco Home Retrofit or a similar organisation, find others who have gone through a similar process, and visit their homes. 

“Don’t just go straight to installers. Instead, go to an independent expert like Loco Home,” says Kat. For Kat, another critical bit of advice is: “Don’t do it in winter! We wouldn’t have had to move out if we’d done this in the summer.”

Ultimately, the Husbands are satisfied with their move from gas to a heat pump. “We’re very happy that it’s worked so well and that we can use it as an example of what’s possible in these houses,” says Kat.

“Doing this kind of thing and sharing our process was always part of our intention; we wouldn’t just do it and quietly sit here and go, ‘Well, it’s cosy’. We wanted to say: ‘Look what you can do, everybody. It’s possible.’”

To learn more, watch Kat’s webinar, which goes into more detail about her and Iain’s retrofit

words by Scott Skinner


Loco Home’s Whole House Assessment services are helpful to anybody who is stuck with their retrofit or simply unsure where to start. To learn more, listen to Loco Home member Sarah Buchannan talk about her assessment on the Accelerate to Zero podcast, or click below.  

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