SuperHomes shows homeowners will spend to save energy

Committed homeowners are willing to spend more than £20,000 improving the energy efficiency of their home: that is one of the conclusions of a study looking at homeowners who have participated in the SuperHomes initiative. The initiative, originated by the Sustainable Energy Academy and now coordinated by the National Energy Foundation, brings together homeowners who have given their homes dramatic green makeovers to cut their carbon emissions by at least 60%. It has a network of nearly 200 households, who regularly open their homes to the public to showcase energy saving retrofit.

The research found that only 20% of homeowners had spent under £20,000 on their upgrade, with the majority spending more. A quarter of homeowners spent more than £50,000 upgrading their homes.

The SuperHomes Research Report 2014 brings together feedback from visitors to SuperHomes, website visitors, enquirers and SuperHome owners. Other findings include:

  • 95% of SuperHome owners rated the comfort of their homes as good or excellent after retrofit, compared with just 8% before retrofit
  • Homeowners said they are ‘very happy’ or ‘happy’ with their internal wall insulation for its impact on their home’s warmth (96%), the length of time the house stays warm (92%) and the speed at which the house reaches temperature (85%)
  • 65% of refurbishments took place over more than two years. Moe than a third took place over more than five years.

The research also quizzed visitors to SuperHomes. Most visitors said it was very likely that they would take action to improve their own homes, and planned to spend on average £5,770 on energy saving measures over the next 12 months.

A survey of past visitors indicates that 41% of visitors who responded went on to install energy saving measures within 24 months of their visit and one in five went on to spend between £3,000 and £35,000). The report found 55% of visitors were aged 55 years and over.

The report findings were collated by Open University PhD student Felicity Williams.

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