Homeowners facing cost-of-living crisis are making their homes more energy efficient

by Rachel Cunningham
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The cost-of-living crisis has prompted Ireland’s homeowners to reconsider how they consume energy at home, according to a new survey from Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC. 

Almost 70 per cent of homeowners throughout the country responding to the consumer survey of 1,000 adults have made or intend to make changes to make their homes more energy efficient. 

Only 31 per cent of respondents to the survey, which was aiming to understand whether homeowners are actively introducing more energy efficient measures in their homes, said that they have made no changes, and don’t plan to make any. 

“While we don’t know precisely what is driving homeowners to undertake these energy improvements, it is reasonable to assume that it is a combination of the proliferation of climate change messages hitting home combined with the cost-of-living challenges, particularly around fuel costs. 

“State grants, which could halve the cost of a deep retrofit, may also be prompting people to take action,” said Billy Shannon, from Aviva. 

The most popular sustainable measures that had been introduced by homeowners were recycling as much as possible, changing lightbulbs to LEDs, turning down the thermostat and insulating the attic. 

Full home insulation, switching to a green energy provider and replacing home windows, were among the future measures that homeowners said they were planning. 

The addition of solar panels on roofs appeared low as a priority among respondents, with less than one in ten homeowners (9 per cent) already having fitted electricity-generating solar panels on their homes and just 22 per cent planning to do so. 

“Many households have seen their electricity and gas bills more than double since the start of last year and, if ever there was a time to take action to help reduce these ongoing expenses, it is before the winter weather really bites. 

“People can save thousands by energy-proofing their homes and our survey shows that, for many, this message has hit home. The reluctance amongst homeowners to get solar panels installed could simply be down to the fact that people cannot afford the initial cost at this time and/or that they are not aware of the benefits of solar panelling or the grants available”, Mr Shannon concluded.

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