Monday, 16 May 2022

Households consider greener homes to reduce bills

PEOPLE in the UK are becoming increasingly likely to try and make their homes more energy-efficient, according to recent research by Nationwide.

The survey report said that rising energy prices are driving people to consider taking steps to reduce household costs, with about 70 per cent planning to make energy improvements.

Forty-five per cent of households have already made some energy improvements and 42 per cent want to do so but haven’t started yet or don’t know how.

Survey respondents said that they would consider making their homes greener if their energy costs were to increase by an average of £45 per month.

Claire Tracey, chief strategy and sustainability officer at Nationwide, said: “Ensuring our homes are better insulated and powered by cleaner energy is one of the best ways to protect against rising fuel prices.

“Our research tells us that people want to make green home improvements to lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint, but they need support.

“This can be achieved through a national retro-fitting programme, which has the full commitment of government and business and, most importantly, is fairly financed.

“As consumers brace themselves for higher energy prices, the time to act to make our homes more energy efficient is now. We stand ready to support and to work with others, in the spirit of mutuality, to help ensure that no household is left behind.”

Despite this, there is confusion about how to make a home more energy efficient, and significant uncertainty regarding costs.

Fifty-four per cent of respondents said that a ‘one-stop-shop’ providing impartial advice, or a ‘green skills’ register for trusted tradespeople would encourage them to act, by helping them understand what home improvements they needed.

More than two thirds of respondents said that some form of a grant would help to cover the cost.

Nationwide conducted the research as part of the Green Homes Action Group — a cross-sector group of businesses and charities advocating an accelerated national retro-fitting programme.

The group, which has a shared interest in making the UK’s homes more sustainable, said that there needs to be a greater focus on making homes more energy efficient.

It is urging the government to deliver a long-term solution to better protect households against volatile energy prices.

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