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89% of consumers cite energy efficiency as most important home improvement

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When it comes to carrying out home improvements, 89% of consumers cited energy efficiency and energy savings as the most important factor.

That’s according to new research conducted by Schneider Electric, which found that it was the most common priority for homeowners. That echoes previous research surrounding the subject, which found the majority of homeowners were planning on taking advantage of the Green Homes Grant

So, why do homeowners care so much about spending money on energy efficiency home improvements? Well, the answer is simple. It’s because those improvements have the potential to pay for themselves. 

The average Brit is set to spend £1,458 on home improvements in the next three years, with homeowners looking to upgrade their home to be more energy efficient. 65% of homeowners also admitted to be looking to invest in sustainability improvements, such as installing solar panels. 

Features such as investing in increasing the size of a home or new entertainment systems were regarded as less important in the survey (49% and 41% respectively), showing that while budgets are tight, large scale home improvements are no longer a priority in the UK.  

Striving towards a net zero home

According to the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the UK will not meet its zero carbon goals without almost entirely eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from Britain’s 29 million homes. Additionally, by 2050, electricity use in homes is set to more than double, outstripping industry, as well as commercial and transport use combined. The research highlights the increased awareness of climate change and the growing phenomenon of energy efficient home improvements.

In fact, over half (55%) of Brits say that it is now important to them for their home to reach net zero emissions in their lifetime. The majority of adults say that it is important to them personally to reach net zero emissions in their home, rising as high as 60% for those aged 35 to 54. Net zero homes are vital in solving the climate change challenges and homeowners need to adopt sustainable features to address this. By generating as much clean, renewable electricity as they consume, homeowners will be able to tackle this problem.

“Despite most consumers owning a piece of smart technology, it isn’t revolutionising the way we live and how we save energy, potentially even adding to our environmental footprint. Consumers will struggle to enact change if their homes don’t become more connected,” said Nico van de Merwe, VP of Home and Distribution at Schneider Electric. 

“By creating connected energy efficiency solutions acting like a ‘Fitbit for your home’ we will enable unprecedented visibility over energy habits at home that consumers will easily understand and adjust their energy usage to meet specific goals, mapping their progress towards net zero homes in achievable steps. As our homes become truly intelligent, a firm foundation for net zero homes will emerge.”

However, despite a majority factoring net zero as important, only 29% agree that this is likely to happen within their lifetime, falling as low as 13% of those aged 55 and over. Many individuals (59%) believe that it is the government’s responsibility to address this, introducing clearer policies to drive genuine change. Governments and technology companies need to provide easy solutions to consumers to ensure change becomes a reality. 

Nico van de Merwe continued, “There is now an evident increase in the number of people wanting to make energy efficient and eco-friendly improvements to their homes, with comfort, size and design no longer topping the list. There are a multitude of features, ranging from installing smart energy monitors, electric charging stations, smart solar panels or smart thermostats, which can be easily implemented to make this happen. Individuals must continue to adopt new sustainable features to make their home energy efficient and tackle climate change, with specific help from government initiatives such as The Green Homes grant to help along the way.”

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