Homeowners are planning upgrades to lower their energy bills: NatWest

Almost two-thirds (63%) of UK homeowners plan to upgrade their property over the next 10 years in a bid to cut their energy bills, an increase of 10% from last June, according to new research from NatWest and S&P Global.

The research found that young homeowners, in particular, are considering upgrades as they seek to bring their properties up to standard in terms of energy efficiency and show a greater willingness to adopt new technologies.

Among 18-34 year olds, 13% said they planned to install a heat pump within the next 12 months, double the UK average (6%).

Meanwhile, around one in five (18%) intended to install an electric car charging station, compared to just 9% in the UK as a whole.

Data shows that a higher proportion of younger homeowners than older homeowners plan to make renovations in the next 12 months and in the next ten years.

NatWest and S&P Global suggest this partly reflects “catch-up effects”, with younger homeowners less likely to have features such as double or triple-glazed windows, energy-efficient lighting or a smart energy meter already installed.

The survey also found that 62% of respondents are taking steps to minimize home energy consumption, up from 57% in June last year, while 23% of homeowners said the rising cost of life has made them much more likely to implement energy efficiency. measures over the next 12 months.

Additionally, 23% of homeowners plan to make immediate improvements to their homes over the next 12 months, driven by concerns about the rising cost of living and greater focus on global energy security, an increase 14% compared to the same period last year. .

Elsewhere, 39% of buyers looking to move within the next 10 years say a property’s EPC rating is a very important factor, an increase of 7% compared to 32% in June last year.

Last year, consumers ranked EPC ratings as one of the least important factors when considering a home purchase. However, 20% of respondents said an EPC rating of C or higher was essential, up 4% from last year’s figure.

The research also found that 61% of UK tenants want their landlords to install solar panels in a bid to lower their bills.

For those looking to buy, 13% of future homeowners say solar panels are an essential property feature, up 8% from last year.

This year, the UK government reduced VAT on the installation of energy-efficient materials from 5% to zero for five years, as part of efforts to ease the transition to greener homes.

However, only 14% said it made them much more likely to install or improve the energy efficiency of their main property in the next five years, while 47% said it made no difference.

Lloyd Cochrane, head of mortgages at NatWest, said: “Along with a longer-term trend of growing climate awareness, steep increases in energy bills and the cost of living in general have made energy efficiency much more important for the everyday life of consumers.”

“Against this backdrop, it is clear that homeowners in particular are starting to think about making changes to the home, with younger homeowners being the most active, and while this is encouraging, there is still much to be done to support the owners in the green transition in industry and government policy.”

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