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Britain's Builders Urged To Take Action As Buyers Demand Greener Homes

Britain's builders are today being urged to prioritise energy efficiency as almost half (47%) of homebuyers say environmentally-friendly features influence their decision, according to a study from the Energy Saving Trust.

Energy saving features like cavity wall insulation and efficient heating systems are now more important to buyers than friendly neighbours, a spacious garden or a fitted kitchen. Only low crime rates (57%) and local schools and amenities (57%) are higher on buyers' list of priorities for their new homes. But, for almost one in five (17%) 'green' features are the biggest influence on their decision. The Energy Saving Trust is urging the building and construction industry to recognise this consumer demand and build more environmentally friendly homes. Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: "Installing energy saving features is a sound investment for housebuilders. They not only help save on fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions, one of the major contributors to climate change, but, as this research shows, they could also make the home a more attractive prospect to buyers.

"It is integral that the building industry responds to this demand and starts building more energy efficient homes. Installing basic energy efficient features at the construction stage is essential to reduce the UK's carbon dioxide emissions."

The research also highlighted that nearly 70 per cent are willing to pay more for a sustainable home, and 28 per cent would pay a 10 per cent premium. The Energy Saving Trust supports the building industry through the Energy Efficiency Best Practice in Housing programme. The programme provides the tools, training and support to help achieve standards above building regulations, providing an integrated package of measures covering ventilation, fabric measures, heating, lighting and hot water systems.

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