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Rising living costs cause homeowners to reconsider retrofitting plans – RICS

  • 23/08/2022
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The rising cost of living is causing homeowners to rethink making improvements to their homes in a drive to become more energy efficient, a survey has found.


A study of 2,776 homeowners conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and YouGov found that 51 per cent of people who knew how to install energy saving measures but had not yet done so, were stalling because of the costs involved.  

It found that while 34 per cent of homeowners would invest in green technology to lower bills in the future, 45 per cent would be focusing on using any savings to pay for their existing living expenses. 

Some 40 per cent said they would consider spending £1,000 to £5,000 on energy improvements which, based on estimations from Energy Savings Trust, would cover solar panels but not heat pumps. 

Financial gains proved to be of importance to respondents, with 55 per cent saying they could consider energy-efficient measures if it meant their home would be more attractive when selling. 

Sam Rees, senior public affairs officer at RICS, said: “The retrofitting of millions of UK homes will be essential to helping to meet our net zero ambitions, however homeowners’ immediate concerns are understandably with the rising cost of living, especially their energy bills. It is important to recognise that retrofitting and the cost of living are not mutually exclusive issues.” 

Rees said while a retrofitted, low carbon home could address some of the long-term cost of living challenges, it was not cheap. 

He said RICS was calling on the government to extend the support it has offered homeowners to help with energy prices to include incentives for sustainable renovations. 

Rees added: “Before any significant investment is made on retrofit measures, RICS urges homeowners and the government to ensure a retrofit assessment is undertaken on the property first – ensuring that no unintended consequences occur such as overheating or increased energy demand.  

“This is critical to protecting consumers and RICS is undertaking significant research to support such assessments.” 

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