The Greener Homes Attitude Tracker finds that one in four millennials now see a high EPC rating as essential when buying a home, however cost of having the work done was by far the greatest barrier to sustainable home improvements
Homeowners estimate it would take an average of 15 years for the savings in regular energy bills to offset the estimated installation cost of £34,500 for retrofitting a typical UK home
The tracker was introduced to gain a deeper understanding of homebuyers’ preferences – these insights have formed NatWest’s work with Government to propose policies that can support the energy efficiency of people’s homes
The latest research from NatWest and S&P Global has revealed that homeowners are looking to make sustainable changes on their home in the short term, but cost remains the highest barrier.
According to the latest data from NatWest, £34,500 is the estimated cost of installing a heat pump, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, double glazed windows and solar panels in a typical UK house. On that basis, when asked how long it would take for the savings in regular energy bills to offset the estimated installation cost, the average length of time homeowners responded with was 15 years.
Although this figure remains high and homeowners are savvy when it comes to the pay off period, 66% are planning upgrades to the sustainability of their property in the next ten years. The importance of an energy efficient home remains prominent, with one-in-four prospective homebuyers aged 35-44 stating an EPC rating of C or above was an 'essential' feature, compared to less than one-in-seven of those aged 18-24.
When it came to renters, over a quarter (28%) said that it would be very important for energy bills to be included in the overall monthly rental price if they were searching for a property in the next six months due to rising costs.
NatWest has almost completed the greener home retrofit project, retrofitting the properties of 9 customers across the UK. The pilot has taken customers on the journey from consideration of improvements to making them a reality including the installation of solar panels, external walls insulation and air source heat pumps.
Lloyd Cochrane, Head of Mortgages at NatWest said:“We know that cost remains a high barrier to homeowners when making these changes and that’s clearly unsurprising given the significant increase in cost of living. It’s important to note that we took the average of £34k from a range of installations however this varies widely depending on what a homeowner plans to install.
“However, we know there needs to be a change in making the options more accessible to our customers and wider homeowners across the UK.
“That’s why we’re leading industry wide work including our retrofit project – it informs our understanding of what we can do to help and future products that might assist homeowners in the process”.