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Nearly Half of Renters Think Energy Efficient Upgrades Would Improve Their Life

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    Santander Report Shows Growing Enthusiasm for Greener Homes

    Santander’s Tomorrow’s Homes report was recently published, and it shows growing enthusiasm for energy-efficient properties among homeowners and renters. The fieldwork for the report was carried out between October and December 2023, and they surveyed 4000 homeowners and renters.

    48% of participants said that they believe that improving the energy efficiency of their home would have a significant effect on their lives. Energy efficiency is becoming an increasingly important consideration for those interested in buy-to-let investment properties.

    However, despite these positive feelings towards eco-friendly upgrades, Santander found that there were some barriers in the way of taking action.

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      What’s Holding Homeowners Back from Green Upgrades?

      One factor that holds homeowners back from making upgrades is that many feel they are not adequately equipped to take on the burden of retrofitting their property. Nearly two-thirds (64%) responded that they didn’t know their current EPC rating, and over half said they were not confident in their ability to find a trusted tradesperson to carry out the job.

      The other main issue is affordability. Six in ten respondents said that the cost of retrofitting their property is preventing them from upgrading. Larger jobs like installing a heat pump or solar panels were seen as unaffordable by 73% of respondents. Most of those surveyed deemed even smaller upgrades too expensive. When it came to upgrading glazing and loft or wall insulation, 61% said they would definitely not carry out these measures or are unlikely to.

      Fiona Hyde, Head of Sustainability at Santander, commented: “It’s clear that homeowners and renters need Government support to be better informed about the options available to them; to have access to affordable, skilled tradespeople; and crucially to be able to benefit from all available financial incentives if we are to help them keep their homes warm and their energy bills low.

      “But beyond that, the houses and flats we know today will, in the majority of cases, be the same houses and flats that we are living in for generations to come. Failing to retrofit them is simply not an option if we are to truly tackle the climate crisis and achieve the country’s carbon emission targets.”

      Learn More: Do you want to know the best place to buy-to-let in London? Read our guides to find out more about property for investors.

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      How Can Property Investors Ensure Energy Efficiency?

      Energy efficiency is climbing the list of renters’ priorities, especially after the sky-high bills brought on by the recent energy crisis. So is buy-to-let worth it when you have to consider these other possible costs?

      As the Santander report states, retrofitting an older property can be time-consuming and costly. One way to avoid this is to invest in new-build properties. Newer properties are more likely to be energy efficient than their older counterparts, and some even have cutting-edge eco-features that will future-proof the property from potential legislative changes. If investors want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to energy efficiency, new-builds are considered one of the best real estate investment types.

      To learn more about the UK property market, take a look at some of our buy-to-let area guides covering topics such as investment property available in Oxford and investment property available in Telford.

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      Jessica Ferris

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      Jessica is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Jessica helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.