Homeowners struggling to make homes more energy efficient due to rising energy bills

Property Reporter
20th June 2022
energy efficiency

As the cost of living continues to rise, many homeowners are focussing their attention on energy efficiency in the home. In fact, new research from Mortgage Advice Bureau suggests that three-quarters of Brits say they would like to make their home more energy-efficient.

Yet, despite a willingness to improve energy efficiency, almost a quarter say they can’t afford to make changes to their homes as the current cost of living makes it difficult to look at areas outside of their essential bills. As the nation recovers, however, there are encouraging signs to suggest that energy home improvements will become part of the list a homeowner makes.

37% said they have prioritised their household bills over making home improvements. Ofgem's proposal to update the energy price cap every three months aims to help customers avoid price shocks whereby falls and rises in bills will be passed onto them more quickly. However, 35% of those surveyed said that their energy bills increased too much, leaving them with little money at the end of the month to put towards home improvements. 33% said that they simply don’t earn enough to make their home more energy-efficient.

Other reasons Brits cited as not being able to make their home more energy efficient included not being able to afford to save for them (31%), home improvements being too expensive (28%), and the tax increase leaving them too worse off to pay for them (14%). 6% stated that childcare costs prevent them from being able to pay for them. 16% said that due to living in a rented home, they can’t make any changes to the property themselves.

Thinking about whether they want to make their home more energy-efficient, 18% said yes and that they intend to make changes. While 12% said that whilst they do, they can’t make changes in the next 12 months. And 10% want to but don’t know what changes to make.

The research also found that 18% of homeowners want to make home improvements to their property to ultimately improve its EPC rating. By doing so, it would help consumers understand and plan for energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, lighting, heating, and hot water on an annual basis tracking usage and costs.

Ben Thompson, Deputy CEO at Mortgage Advice Bureau, commented: “The Government’s ambitious plans to reach net-zero targets is having an effect on households, with an impressive number of people having the intentions to make their homes more energy-efficient. But despite this desire, consumers are being hit from all sides by the cost-of-living crisis, including soaring inflation and rising household bills.

"This means households are having to delay their desired energy-efficient home improvement goals to prioritise their finances. More needs to be done to help consumers (such as working with lenders to help people make sensible and informed choices which will ultimately support the Government in reaching their targets, while also helping the environment and potentially reducing household energy costs.”

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