Energy efficiency needs a ‘foot in the door’ of home renovation market



Energy efficiency providers need to develop new technologies and products in order to get a “foot in the door” of the as yet untapped home renovation market, according to a new report by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

The report, Understanding Homeowners’ Renovation Decisions, summarises a two-year project by the University of East Anglia (UEA), funded by UKERC, which investigated the renovation decisions of homeowners.

It says that amenity renovators, those renovating kitchens and bathrooms, are a big “foot in the door” for those looking to sell energy efficiency products. It suggests that only one in 10 homeowners carry out improvements for efficiency alone, whereas those looking to combine amenity and energy efficiency are three times as common.

Charlie Wilson, one of the researchers at UEA, said, “Our research clearly shows that efficiency-only renovators are a small segment. Amenity renovations dominate the market, sometimes with efficiency measures included.”

He said that the energy efficiency industry should target amenity renovators.

Wilson added, “One approach would be to develop value propositions which bundle efficiency measures into amenity renovations and align with people’s deeper motivations for renovating.”

The report added that local authorities could do more to support energy efficiency by backing local suppliers, offering customer support and badging and certification.

The government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme, the green deal, where homeowners can take out loans to make energy efficiency improvements such as loft and wall insulation, was recently criticised by a committee of MPs, who said it was “unattractive and uncompetitive”.

 Further reading:

World Green Building Week to focus on health benefits of sustainable buildings

Government risks ‘losing momentum’ on sustainable homes

DECC confirms only 4 of 38,000 green deal assessments turned into installations

Sustainable building means more attractive and comfortable homes

The Guide to Sustainable Homes 2013


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