Purpose: The study was designed to assess the knowledge, adoption and perceived effectiveness of sustainable retrofit technologies within the UK social housing sector. Design/methodology/approach: The study was undertaken using a structured questionnaire that was completed by 130 providers of social housing. Findings: The study showed that social housing providers were evenly split in their reliance on internal or external information for sustainable retrofit knowledge. In terms of adoption identified that this was strongly driven by government-funded programmes, leading to widespread adoption of low technology solutions. The respondents identified that many leading edge technologies were perceived to be less effective. Research limitations/implications: The study represents a snap-shot of adoption and effectiveness issues, therefore does not show the trajectory of adoption which should be addressed in a follow-up study. Practical implications: The social housing sector has been viewed as a market maker for some of the newer technologies. It indicates that some of the newer technologies, such as heat pumps are viewed as less effective than more established technologies. Social implications: The study has implications for the adoption of technology to address fuel poverty and climate change, as well as informing future policy such as Green Deal. Originality/value: The study includes 130 responses from the social housing stock and gives a perspective of current views on adoption and effectiveness of retrofit technologies within the social housing sector. This is useful for both other social housing providers and policy makers.