Despite the continued rise in energy costs, 55% of homeowners are making positive changes to the environmental sustainability of their property, research from NatWest and IHS Markit has found.
However, the Greener Home Attitudes Tracker has outlined concerns from renters, with 58% of those living in rented accommodation saying neither they nor their landlords have made improvements.
The data, based on responses from 4,500 people across the UK in Q4 2021, revealed that cost remains the greatest stated barrier to homeowners improving the environmental sustainability of their property.
It found that just 7% of homeowners with a gas boiler are very likely to consider changing to a different energy source in the next three years as consumers face soaring energy bills.
Meanwhile, 33% of respondents are unlikely to make green home improvements due to the perceived disruption it would cause.
The recent rises in wholesale gas prices are an illustration of the challenges that consumers face as they try to understand what they can do to play their part, how much that may cost and how they can protect themselves from rising energy bills.
However, there was a positive change in attitudes towards green home improvements towards the end of 2021.
As consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of their carbon footprint, 63% of homeowners are planning to make green home improvements in the next decade. This was up from 55% last quarter.
The tracker also found that:
One in five households are very concerned about the carbon emissions produced by homes in the UK
Over half (55%) of homeowners have already made positive changes to the environmental sustainability of their property
Around one-third (33%) of UK households that are looking to buy a property over the next decade believed the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of a property was a 'very important' factor
What about greener homes for tenants?
Tenants in rental properties have little control over the space they live in. These results were reflected in the survey's findings on the current condition of rented properties versus those that are owner-occupied.
The majority (58%) of those living in rented accommodation said that neither they nor their landlords had made improvements during the time they had lived at the property, compared with 37% of homeowners who had made no changes
Renters were less likely to have either double-glazed windows, energy-efficient lighting or a smart energy meter
Some 53% of renters strongly agreed that landlords should be required to ensure that the property meets certain minimum environmental sustainability standards
Lastly, 45% of renters (32% of homeowners) strongly agreed that rented properties should be assessed every 3 years to ensure that they meet minimum environmental sustainability standard
Lloyd Cochrane, head of mortgages at NatWest, explains: “Our research shows that there is clearly a concern for consumers when making those greater green changes in the home, such as replacing gas boilers.”
“With the cost of living increasing and more people working from home faced with rising energy bills, more needs to be done in raising awareness of what improving energy efficiency means for individual customers.”
“We launched the Greener Homes Attitude Tracker to help us understand attitudes towards these issues and 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,” he concludes.