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Energy Efficiency Improvements For British Homeowners

Rising utility bills and the economic slowdown are prompting millions of British homeowners to improve their homes rather than moving, with energy efficiency improvements now more popular than installing a new bathroom or kitchen.

The findings, from new research conducted for Rockwool, the world’s leading manufacturer of non-combustible stone wool insulation, found that 39% of British homeowners say they’re looking to improve their homes rather than move, with 41% saying they are undecided.

Increased utility bills mean that energy saving improvements, such as installing high-grade insulation, are now more popular as a home improvement than buying a new kitchen or bathroom.

A quarter (24%) of those looking to make home improvements say they are looking to improve energy efficiency in their homes, compared to 22% looking to install a new bathroom, 21% looking to install a new kitchen and 11% looking to extend their property.

The findings come on the back of the Government announcement, in the 2009 budget, that it is to introduce annual targets for reducing carbon emissions, a core consideration for domestic householders, given that 49% of the UK’s total energy usage goes on heating buildings. This also follows the introduction of Community Energy Saving Programmes requiring energy suppliers and generators to deliver more insulation programmes for lower income households

The survey also found that a staggering 89% of Britons say they are concerned about higher energy prices, with more than half (52%) saying they are very concerned.

Hans Schreuder, Managing Director, Rockwool commented: “While it is unsurprising that British homeowners are concerned about higher energy bills, it is very good news for the nation’s finances and for the environment that so many people are now looking to improve the energy efficiency and insulation of their properties.

“Currently around 49% of the total energy used in the UK goes on heating buildings, which represents a massive cost, both financially and in terms of carbon emissions. While the current recession is undoubtedly incredibly tough for many people, if they can reduce energy bills by improving the efficiency of their homes, it will enable them to reduce costs into the long term and there are a series of Government and local authority grants available to help people make these improvements in a cost effective manner.”

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