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Rising bills means cash-strapped Britons cannot afford to make their homes energy efficient

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  • 17/06/2022
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Rising bills means cash-strapped Britons cannot afford to make their homes energy efficient
Almost a quarter of Britons said they could not afford to make energy efficiency changes to their homes, a survey by Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) has revealed.

Three in four Britons say they would like to make their home more energy efficient, according to mortgage firm’s research.

However almost a quarter, 23 per cent, said they could not afford to make the necessary changes to their homes.

Government net zero targets have inspired homeowners to want to retrofit their homes, but the current cost-of-living issue has made it difficult for people to look at areas outside of their essential bills.

Over a third, 37 per cent, said they had been forced to prioritise household bills over making home improvements and 35 per cent of those surveyed said their energy bills increased too much, leaving them with little money at the end of the month to put towards home improvements.

A third, 33 per cent, said that they simply did not earn enough to make their home more energy efficient.

Other reasons for not being able to make their home more energy efficient included not being able to afford to save for them, 31 per cent, home improvements being too expensive, 28 per cent, and the tax increase leaving them too worse off to pay for them, 14 per cent.

Childcare was blamed by one in 20. They said childcare costs prevented them from being able to make any energy efficiency changes.

There were signs that some households were determined to make their homes more energy efficient, as 18 per cent said they intended to make changes. Some 12 per cent plan to do so, but not in the next 12 months.

A further 16 per cent said they were unable to make changes because they lived in rented accommodation.

The research also found that one in six homeowners wanted to make home improvements to their property to 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 (pictured), deputy chief executive at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “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 with 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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