Majority of UK renters want more sustainable homes to offset rising rental costs

The latest data released by NatWest and S&P Global shows that renters are in fear of rising monthly payments with a majority looking to landlords to make green changes to their property and reduce the financial burden.

Related topics:  Landlords,  rent,  Energy Efficiency
Property | Reporter
7th February 2024
energy efficiency
"Cost and disruption continue to be major barriers for homeowners looking to make sustainable changes to their homes. We’ve also seen from the latest data that renters are increasingly calling for landlords to address the energy efficiency of their properties"
- Lloyd Cochrane - NatWest

According to new stats released from NatWest and S&P Global, 75% of renters across the UK who are expecting a rise in rental costs want landlords to improve the sustainability of their properties.

The Greener Homes Attitudes tracker from NatWest is conducted to get a deeper understanding of homebuyers’ preferences on the importance of certain environmental features and energy-saving improvements.

Those renting properties face a continued rise in monthly payments, with NatWest data finding approximately two-thirds of UK renters (63%) expecting a further increase over the next 12 months. Among this group, three-quarters want landlords to make sustainable home improvements to their properties to help offset the increase.

According to the figures, rental properties are typically less well-insulated than owner-occupied homes. This includes tanks and pipes insulation (42% versus 58%) and cavity wall insulation (42% versus 58%).

The tracker found that when it comes to UK homeowners making sustainable upgrades, around one in five homeowners reported plans to make improvements to their property in the next 12 months, with many of those not planning to make changes citing the cost of work and disruption being the key barriers.

How much are we REALLY paying towards energy bills right now?

Households were asked in the final quarter of 2023 how much they’re now spending on monthly energy bills. Of those that reported having both mains gas and mains electricity, 23% answered between £100-£149 – that’s approximately 21 Netflix monthly subscriptions and equates to £1,200-£1,788 per year.

This was followed by 18% of households paying between £150-£199, equating to £1800-£2380 a year.

The tracker also found that:

Over half of respondents feel that the UK Government is moving too slowly to aid the green energy transition

The green lifestyle choices that have gained the most traction in the past year are regular use of public transport (29% in 2023 up from 25% in 2022) and regular recycling of clothing i.e. using Vinted or depop to buy and sell second-hand clothing (48% in 2023 up from 46% in 2022).

London topped the rankings for plans for solar panels (45%), with the Northeast, Yorkshire & Humber and Scotland (all 30%) at the other end of the scale.

This Greener Homes Attitudes tracker follows the recent launch of NatWest’s Home Energy Hub, allowing homeowners to understand the carbon footprint of their homes, the steps they need to take in making sustainable changes and potential financing options.

The hub helps homeowners identify and understand specific improvements that could be made to their property and tackles some of the biggest barriers to taking the next step – finding someone trustworthy to do the work in their local area and how to pay for it. It also includes an affordability calculator, letting homeowners get an idea of how much they could borrow and outlines for consumers the costs associated with making specific sustainable upgrades.

Lloyd Cochrane, Head of Mortgages at NatWest said: “Cost and disruption continue to be major barriers for homeowners looking to make sustainable changes to their homes. We’ve also seen from the latest data that renters are increasingly calling for landlords to address the energy efficiency of their properties.

"We recently introduced the Home Energy Hub to help to solve that problem for homeowners, by making it faster to understand, commission and pay for the work they might need.”

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