Zero carbon key to engaging energy-efficiency interest

"Today’s Attitudes To Low And Zero Carbon Homes – Views Of Occupiers, House Builders And Housing Associations" is the first independent report to comprehensively explore the views of house builders and housing associations, as well as occupiers actually living in highly energy-efficient new homes.

It finds that occupiers of new or enhanced new homes are overwhelmingly satisfied with their property, in terms of living space, comfortable internal temperatures and lower energy bills. Additionally, it shows that there has been a positive shift in consumer attitude and engagement towards overall energy efficiency, compared with the findings of similar research conducted in 2008.

However, those occupying enhanced new homes also report receiving inconsistent or inadequate information about in-home sustainable technologies, meaning it is unlikely they will be using their home to its full energy-saving potential.

The report also notes that an opportunity is being missed at the home valuation stage. While the industry believes there is little appetite from consumers to pay a premium for new homes enhanced with renewable technologies, the research suggests home buyers may be willing to pay a premium when there is a clear saving on energy bills. Unfortunately this is currently not reflected by surveyors, who attribute little or no added value to enhanced new homes.

Neil Jefferson, Director, NHBC Foundation, said: "This research shows some very positive attitudes towards low and zero carbon homes and new technologies. In 2008, we had virtually no direct experience of occupiers in highly energy efficient homes to draw upon, but four years on, we have been able to gain a unique insight into living in this type of new home and almost all of these occupiers are very happy with their new home and with their lower energy bills.

"There are a number of positive messages for the house-building industry arising from this research, the strongest of these being that many of the occupiers having experienced the benefits of a highly energy-efficient new home would never want to move into an older home again."

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