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Polling and audience insight

Tomorrow’s Homes: facing up to the UK’s energy efficient buildings challenge – A report with Santander UK

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This report - produced by Global Counsel with Santander UK - is based on a representative survey GC designed, conducted  and analysed – across a representative sample of 4,000 UK adults. It also incorporates interviews with home owners and estate agents, and policy analysis across markets as diverse as Poland, Portugal and Spain.

The UK’s housing stock is amongst the oldest in Europe, with almost 4 in 10 homes built before 1946. Only around 40% of all UK households have an EPC rating of C and above, meaning there is vast potential to enhance the energy efficiency of our residential buildings. This would help individual households cope with cost-of-living pressures and the UK in its progress towards achieving climate ambitions.

The report finds that while there is public appreciation of the potential benefits of energy efficiency, this often does not translate into action:

  • There are important knowledge gaps, with many unaware of the energy efficiency performance of their own home, the costs of energy efficiency measures, and sources of advice and financial support.
  • Upfront costs are a major obstacle, with most feeling that even fairly low-cost measures such as loft insulation are beyond their means
  • Even where measures are seen as affordable, or could be funded through borrowing, many would not prioritise them –believing that costs may not be recouped quickly enough through lower bills, or add more to the value of a property than they cost.

The report calls for action to address these barriers, including increased education on energy efficiency, an expansion of grant schemes and other forms of incentivisation, and a sustained focus on developing the retrofitting supply chain. Drawing on analysis from Global Counsel of policy measures across Europe and beyond, the report points to examples of supportive interventions elsewhere that the UK can look to.

The views expressed in this report can be attributed to the named author(s) only.