Green home improvements set to increase amid escalating climate concerns and rising energy bills

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2023

 

According to a new independent survey commissioned by Butterfield Mortgages, two-thirds of homeowners now want to improve the energy efficiency of their homes with a majority citing concerns over the environment as the main driving factor for the changes.

1,468 UK homeowners were polled by the mortgage provider to find out how much of a priority sustainability is to them. According to the respondents, 66% wish to make energy-efficient improvements with 36% looking to improve the Energy Performance Certificate rating of their property to increase its future sale value.

54% say environmental concerns are encouraging them to consider making sustainable improvements, while for 46%, spiralling energy prices have accelerated their plans. This figure increases to 65% among a younger demographic of people aged 18 to 34.

The research also uncovered some challenges. It showed that just 40% of homeowners know their property’s current EPC rating while 25% said planning restrictions are preventing them from making identified energy-efficient improvements.

The survey highlighted a desire among homeowners for the government to play a bigger role, with the vast majority (78%) calling for more government support to help homeowners make their homes greener.

The most common upgrades already made by homeowners include installing LED lightbulbs (66%), investing in double or triple glazing (57%), adding loft or wall insulation (55%), and using a smart meter (46%). Looking ahead, 41% plan to install energy-efficient kitchen compliances, 40% intend to invest in professional draught-proofing and 35% plan to replace boilers with a carbon-neutral heat pump.

17% of homeowners are considering remortgaging to fund energy-efficient upgrades.

Alpa Bhakta, CEO of Butterfield Mortgages, said: “Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, whether to reduce costs, improve future sale values, or contribute to a greener future. We can expect millions of owners to invest in home improvements in the months and years to come – and some may be looking to re-finance their property in order to do so.

“Our research also uncovered a significant knowledge gap among homeowners that needs addressing. Less than half are aware of what the EPC rating of their property is.

“As sustainability considerations rise, homeowners and buyers alike will be turning to their brokers and lenders for guidance on EPC-related issues, particularly if legislation around residential properties is introduced in the future. Those who are aware of this growing trend now has an opportunity to become well-versed in the issues ahead of time and can help advise clients appropriately.”

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