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Homeowners only interested in going green to save cash

Nine out of ten (93%) are concerned with energy efficiency but three-quarters of these (74%) will only do so save cash.

Fewer than half (48%) of homebuyers deem the energy efficiency of a potential new property as very important.

But a significant 60% of people would be put off buying a property if the energy rating was very low or could not be improved, and 57% would attempt to cut the price of a property with low energy efficiency.

The motives behind the concern, however, are financial rather than environmental. 

The popularity of different types of energy saving devices supports the conclusion. Double-glazing, one of the cheapest ways to ensure against wasted energy, was by far the most popular device for homeowners to install and 25% of people have installed a water meter, which is free.

More expensive methods such as biomass boilers, solar and photovoltaic panels, air source heat pumps, micro generators and solar collectors have been installed by fewer than 2% of homeowners.

However, almost half (46%) of homebuyers say they would consider installing such renewable techonologies because of the recent Government scheme, feed-in-tariffs, offering financial incentives to do so.

Jonathan Haward, chairman of County Homesearch, said: "The survey results are not surprising news: wasting energy wastes vast amounts of money, as well as being bad for the environment. However, a property’s carbon footprint is pretty low down on the radar of people looking to buy a home. Homebuyers were primarily concerned that energy efficiency saved them money, not the planet.

"The installation of products like wood-chip boilers and ground source heat pumps are expensive and largely untried, so are eyed with suspicion by prospective homebuyers. At this stage these energy saving devices are too expensive for home buyers to get a decent return.

"The Government is introducing so-called ‘pay as you save’ green finance to induce people to put eco measures into their homes. Although the energy companies will be encouraged to pick up the bill which will be paid back over 25 years, I doubt if it will have a great take up in the immediate term."

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