Over half of homeowners have plans to make green improvements to their homes over the next decade.
That’s according to new research from NatWest and IHS Markit, which found that 52% of homeowners are actively looking to make their home more sustainable over the next few years.
According to the survey, more than a quarter of homeowners (26%) anticipate making changes within the next one to five years, with a further 16% planning on carrying out improvements in six to 10 years’ time.
However, the research found that costs and finance options are the greatest barriers to actually making those improvements.
The research also showed that more needs to be done to catalyse immediate change, as a significant proportion (85%) of respondents said they do not have any plans to make improvements to the environmental sustainability of their home during the next 12 months.
Further, nearly a third of homeowners (29%) have no plans to make such improvements the next decade, which NatWest says highlights that for most homeowners, sustainability is either a relatively low priority or unaffordable.
EPCs, gas boilers, and electric cars
In the context of the UK government’s 2050 net-zero target, the Greener Homes Attitude Tracker – based on responses from 1,500 people across the UK in July 2021 – was conducted to get a deeper understanding of homebuyers’ preferences on the importance of certain environmental features and energy saving improvements.
The tracker found that:
- 85% of prospective homebuyers found that having an EPC rating of C or above is seen as non-essential
- The majority of respondents (56%) didn’t feel confident of being able to replace their gas boiler with an alternative due to high costs
- 34% of respondents who are looking to buy in the next 10 years regarded double-glazed windows as an essential feature
- 36% of homeowners plan to switch to an electric car in the next 10 years
- Smart energy meter the most likely ‘green’ home feature to be installed in the next year
When it came to green lifestyle choices, respondents were often conscious of their daily habits and the associated impacts on the environment.
The results showed that many are actively looking to reduce their carbon footprint and household waste, with efforts to minimise food waste (69%) and home energy usage (58%) at the forefront of actions by survey respondents.
To address the key blockers in meeting net zero in the UK buildings environment, NatWest recently launched its ‘Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition’.
By partnering with British Gas, Worcester Bosch, and Shelter, the bank is seeking to improve UK buildings energy efficiency, to raise awareness, and help customers understand the choices they have to decarbonise their homes and commercial buildings.
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Lloyd Cochrane, head of Mortgages at NatWest, said: “Residential properties generate around 15% of UK total climate emissions.
“Our research shows that more needs to be done in raising awareness of what improving energy efficiency means for individual customers as there’s no one-size-fits-all.
“We launched the Greener Homes Attitude Tracker to run on a quarterly basis as a way of monitoring changes in consumer attitudes over time and to enable us to build the products, services, and processes needed to play our part in tackling climate change and provide useful insight for all those involved in supporting the transition.
“As the principal banking sponsor supporting COP26 in Glasgow later this year, we want to support customers in making greener choices.
“This ranges from improving their carbon footprint through our partnership with CoGo, discounts through our green mortgage range and work to ensure customers can understand what they can do to improve the energy efficiency of their home.”
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