‘Energy efficiency motivated by savings’

Amanda Jarvis

December 19, 2005

An overwhelming 75% of respondents cited the savings they could make on their fuel bills as a factor which would encourage them to make their homes more energy efficient. A comparatively low 49% of respondents said that they would be motivated by concern for the environment.

2005 witnessed significant increases in gas and electricity prices, and with an unprecedented cold winter predicted , it is not surprising that saving money on fuel featured so strongly with respondents. Despite this, many people are failing to adopt the most cost-efficient measures and are missing the chance to make better savings.

The time taken to recover installation costs for under-floor insulation is significantly less than that for loft insulation. Assuming they are professionally installed, the cost recovery times are 2-3 and 4-6 years respectively . However, just 22% of respondents have under-floor insulation, compared to an overwhelming 84% with loft insulation.

Double glazing saves a mere £40 a year on the average £750 energy bill and costs thousands of pounds to install, yet despite this, a whopping 82% of respondents have double glazing in their homes. In contrast, only 35% of households have condensing boilers, even though it is estimated that a condensing boiler uses between 30% and 40% less fuel than other models and costs a comparatively low £1,000 to install.

44% of respondents said that they would make energy efficiency changes if they were having other work done (see Chart 1) and 48% of homeowners said that they would be motivated to install energy efficient features if this was to increase the value of their homes. Meanwhile, an environmentally friendly 26% of respondents said that they would consider energy efficiency if looking for another property. Considering that the majority of energy efficient installations are relatively low in cost to put in, property owners would be well advised to invest in these measures to add value and to increase the saleability of their homes.

Jim Buckle of Propertyfinder.com commented, “It is evident that energy efficiency is an increasing consideration among homeowners, with saving money a priority. Most people already take advantage of double-glazing, loft and boiler insulation – which generate some savings – yet few are taking advantage of the lesser-known measures. For example, cavity wall and under-floor insulation as well as condensing boilers can generate much greater savings on fuel bills.”

“With the cold winter now upon us, energy efficiency is coming to the fore in the minds of buyers, and sellers would be wise to reap the benefits by vastly increasing both the value and the saleability of their properties by implementing these relatively low-cost measures.”

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