Over 60% of homeowners willing to improve energy efficiency

in their homes to achieve cost savings

Installation of solar panels, new windows, new doors and attic and cavity wall insulations are top planned projects

Some 62% of homeowners would be willing to invest €10,000 to improve the energy efficiency in their homes if they could recoup the money in energy cost savings. The most common timeframe within which homeowners would expect to recoup their initial investment is five years, with 40% of homeowners selecting this option.  These are some of the key findings of a nationwide survey* of 1,000 adults conducted recently on behalf of Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva).

The Aviva survey found that:

  • Those willing to invest €10,000 in order to recoup the investment in energy costs savings was more evident amongst men (67%) than women at 54% and in the younger age cohorts, with those aged 55+ less likely to make this investment (54%)
  • Similarly, more women (46%) than men (33%) and those aged 55+ at 46% would not be willing to make this investment to improve energy efficiency in their homes.
  • While 23% of homeowners would expect to recoup the €10,000 investment within three years, 16% would expect to recoup it in seven years, with 10% expecting to recoup it in 10 years.
  • Some 6% of homeowners stated that regardless of cost savings, they would make the investment for environmental reasons.

Plans for retrofitting projects

Solar panels (16%), new windows (12%) new doors (10%) and attic and cavity wall insulation (10%) are the top planned retrofitting projects amongst homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient over the next 12-24 months, according to the Aviva survey. A further 6% of homeowners plan to convert their heating systems from gas/oil to an air to water heat pump. However, 31% of homeowners surveyed said that they had no plans to carry out any retrofitting projects, 23% of whom admitted that they simply can’t afford the investment.  A further 12% of respondents to the survey said that they had recently upgraded their homes.

  • Respondents to the survey who said that they can’t afford the investment was highest amongst those aged 45-54 and higher amongst women (25%) than men at 15%.
  • Those who recently upgraded their homes was highest in the 55+ age bracket at 15%.

The findings of our latest survey highlighting that most homeowners (over 60%) would be willing to invest in retrofitting projects to improve the energy efficiency of their homes is hugely positive for the environment and would benefit consumers towards achieving cost savings on their energy bills. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is Ireland’s national energy authority and provides government funded grants to homeowners who are eligible from 35% to 50%, while grants for attic and cavity wall insulations has increased to 80%. The government’s National Housing retrofit scheme is designed to help homeowners upgrade their homes with energy ratings of C3 or below to a B2 or higher rating. The grants provided by the SEAI are as a result of the government’s Climate Action Plan, although homes must be older than 2006 to apply.

Alan Behan, Personal Lines Product Manager, Aviva

“Homeowners who can afford to undertake retrofitting projects may wish to undertake an initial home energy assessment that will provide a detailed report on the energy performance of their home and will also outline the energy upgrades required to increase their Building Energy Ratings (BER). According to the SEAI’s website, the value of a home increases by 1% for every level that the home goes up on the BER scale. For example, a home that goes from a BER of G to a B2 rating will increase in value by 10%. It therefore makes sense to conduct energy upgrades to your homes as it will increase its value, improve the comfort of the home, save money on energy bills and helps the national climate action plan.

“Given that undertaking retrofitting projects will in turn increase the value of the home, it is important that those who have completed energy efficient upgrades should also ensure that the increased value is factored into the building sum insured that they have selected when insuring their property. An increase in the sums insured may often result in minimal changes to the premium and consumers can be satisfied that they are fully covered if they need to make a claim. Homeowners do not have to wait for their next home insurance renewal time and can increase the value of their homes with their insurer at any time during the year.” concluded Alan Behan.

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Aviva Group Services Ireland Limited, a private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No.322579. Registered Office: Cherrywood Business Park, Dublin, Ireland, D18 W2P5.