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More environmentally sustainable homes, say Brits

Some 78% of Britons place high importance on environmental sustainability when choosing a new home, according to a recent survey by BLP Insurance.

More than four-fifths (81%) of respondents in London believe the long-term environmental and sustainable performance of a new home is vital, compared to 68% in Sheffield and 75% in Newcastle.

Regarding the environmentally sustainable features they’d most like to see, almost a quarter of participants ranked energy efficient heating and hot water systems as their top priority if they were choosing a new home. Double glazing came second, followed by solar panels. However, environmentally-friendly fittings were seen as the main advantage of purchasing a new build home.

Surprisingly, only 5% of respondents viewed smart meters as important. This varied among different demographics, with 10% of 16 to 23-year-olds citing smart meters as a significant addition to a new home, compared to only 2% of over 55s.

“As people become increasingly concerned about environment issues, demand for environmentally sustainable features of new homes will continue to grow,” Kim Vernau, chief executive officer of BLP Insurance, said.

She added that initiatives such as the Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) will help finance an increase in sustainable homes by “incentivising building owners” to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

“With more detailed and transparent data now available to consumers at all levels, and new energy standards being implemented, landlords and developers will need to adapt, taking steps to improve the efficiency of properties in the market.”

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