Climate change is a hot topic, especially as the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) here in Glasgow from the end of next month.
The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In June 2019, the government passed several laws to end the UK’s contribution to global warming in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 – the previous target was an 80% reduction.
With this target in mind, there is a lot to be done to raise awareness of reducing emissions and making improvements to our homes to this end.
Research from NatWest and IHS Markit has revealed that just over half of all homeowners are planning to make home improvements over the next ten years that will help to make their home greener. However, finance is the biggest barrier for them to be able to make the changes required. The survey revealed that 69% of respondents were looking to reduce their carbon footprint and household waste and were making efforts to this effect.
According to the survey of 1,500 carried out, over a quarter of homeowners anticipated making home improvements in the next five years with a further 16% planning to carry out improvements in 6 to 10 years’ time. The research showed that more needs to be done in the immediate future given that only 15% planned to make improvements in the next 12 months and 29% had no plans in the next decade due to affordability issues. Less than half of homeowners surveyed stated that they felt they were able replace their gas boiler with a more sustainable alternative and felt that the 2035 date of the potential ban was too far away for them to need to act now as the likelihood was that they would move. In addition, they felt that there could be financial support from the government in the future.
The Greener Homes Attitude Tracker found that:
- 85% of prospective homebuyers found that having an EPC rating of C or above is seen as non-essential
- The majority of respondents (56%) didn’t feel confident of being able to replace their gas boiler with an alternative due to high costs
- 34% of respondents who are looking to buy in the next 10 years regarded double-glazed windows as an essential feature
- 36% of homeowners plan to switch to an electric car in the next 10 years
- Smart energy meter the most likely ‘green’ home feature to be installed in the next year.
To address any issues that may prevent homes from meeting the net zero target, NatWest has launched a ‘Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition’. It has partnered with British Gas, Worcester Bosch, and Shelter to improve the energy efficiency of UK buildings, to raise awareness and help customers understand the choices available to them to decarbonise their homes as residential properties generate around 15% of UK total climate emissions.