Retrofitting put on the back burner due to cost of living crisis

Consumers are looking to concentrate spending on escalating household costs as opposed to retrofitting homes, revealed new research from RICS and YouGov.

Of the 4357 adults surveyed for this study, 45% said they would be focusing on using any savings to pay for their existing living expenses.

Meanwhile, only 34% of homeowners said they would invest in green technology to lower bills in the future.

Around 51% of respondents who confirmed they hadn’t already installed new energy-saving measures in their homes, but would know how to, said it was because of the costs involved.

Out of those who would consider retrofitting to make their home more attractive to prospective buyers, 40% said they’d only consider spending between £1000-£5000 on energy improvements.

The new research backs up previous calls made by the institution in 2020 for more policy measures to incentivise industry and consumers to retrofit the UK housing stock.

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 understandable 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; a suitably retrofitted, low-carbon home can help with the long-term challenges of the cost of living and reducing high levels of energy consumption, but achieving this is not cheap.

“With the UK government giving financial support to homeowners to support them with rising energy prices, RICS is calling on the government to extend this support and provide additional financial incentives to homeowners to encourage retrofitting and ultimately help tackle the cause of high energy usage.

“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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