Despite increasing public debate and media spotlight on energy efficiency, the issue appears relatively unimportant to seven out of eight buyers according to new research.
Only one in eight - 13 per cent - surveyed by the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group said the energy efficiency of their home was something they seriously considered when they bought it.
London homeowners have greater consideration, with 26 per cent reporting that they took energy consumption into account, compared to just five per cent in Wales.
Across the UK as a whole the figure rises to 29 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 – the more recent homeowners – and the EEIG claims the findings demonstrate a fundamental lack of engagement by the public with household energy efficiency. This is despite the fact that households currently account for a fifth of all UK carbon emissions and 35 per cent of the UK’s energy use.
The EEIG study, involving 2,000 adults questioned earlier this month, also shows that despite national energy supply concerns, rapidly increasing energy bills, and with COP26 conference next month, only one in six owners has any serious plan to improve the energy efficiency of their home in the next five years.
Breaking this picture down regionally, people in the West Midlands and London come out on top with 21 and 30 were cent respectively having plans to tackle the energy consumption of their home, compared to just five per cent in the North East and 10 per cent in Wales.
David Adams, EEIG spokesperson, says: “Even with worries about energy supply, rocketing energy bills and climate change in the press daily, it’s clear from our research this isn’t prompting the magnitude of demand for home energy performance improvements necessary to solve these problems.
“Clearly, government intervention is necessary to change this trajectory, but so far short-term initiatives have failed to deliver the kind of sustained take up necessary.
“In the absence of any other viable approach to stimulate and support owner occupiers to act at scale, the EEIG is advocating for the government to deliver a green stamp duty incentive.
“This will make energy efficient homes cheaper to buy and will remind those who are buying a lower performing home of the improvements that are likely to be necessary during their period of ownership. It will also encourage people to start thinking about potential improvements to their homes at the time of purchase and plan ahead to realise the rebate.
“It’s necessary that this type of policy is adopted rapidly to be fair to homeowners and to give the government the chance to reach its target of a 78 per cent reduction of UK greenhouse emissions by 2035.”