Escalating energy bills have become European homeowners’ main concern, according to research carried out by home improvement retailer, Kingfisher whose businesses include B&Q.
A survey of 17,000 households revealed that 65% of people listed energy prices as their primary concern – more than double the number concerned with mortgage or rent payments (23%).
As a result of this widespread concern, energy efficiency measure are rising up households’ agenda. The survey revealed that compared to two years ago, homeowners are eight times more likely to prioritise energy efficiency savings
A further 31% of those surveyed said that they intended to improve their homes’ energy efficiency performance compared to just 4% in 2012.
Commenting on the surge of homeowners looking to improve their properties energy efficiency, Sir Ian Cheshire, group chief executive of Kingfisher plc said: “Rising energy prices are a very real fear – right across Europe, a bigger concern even than worries about paying the rent or mortgage.
“There is a staggering increase in the number of people who intend to prioritise energy efficiency and it is soaring bills that is driving this agenda.”
Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA has called on the government to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority. He said: “We still have over 7 million homes that have inadequate loft insulation, over 5 million homes that require cavity wall insulation and almost 8 million homes that need solid wall insulation.
“We should be strengthening our energy efficiency programmes and accelerating the pace of delivery. We require a long term structured plan to achieve this and transform the nation’s housing stock.”