UK householders have a strong appetite for investing in more sustainable forms of home heating that will reduce energy bills and be better for the environment, according to a recent survey of 1000 UK households.
But the survey, conducted in late September by Wolseley, also found that significant numbers of householders believe sustainable heating options are inaccessible on cost grounds, with many unconvinced by Government subsidies and lacking understanding of available support.
Responses from homeowners and tenants across the UK found a strong level of interest in investing in more sustainable forms of heating, despite cost of living pressures:
- More people in Britain (34%) intend to spend their money changing their heating system over holidays or other experiences (31%) this year
- Almost half (48%) believe it is important for their energy source to be environmentally friendly
- More than half (52%) will be considering the environment when they next renew their heating system and 72% of people suggested they would seek a heat pump, hydrogen or other non-gas/oil boiler to deliver cheaper long-term energy costs
However, the survey also identified challenges that need to be overcome to make sustainable forms of heating more accessible:
- 55% cite high expense as the main barrier to installing more sustainable forms of home heating
- 60% said they had a lack of knowledge on the issue, with 36% wanting to wait until Government funding/subsidies become clearer before switching to more sustainable heat sources, and 24% not understanding the benefits/advantages at all
- Only 14% of people trust the Government to provide clear and fair advice about their future heating options
Installers have a crucial role
Homeowners are hugely dependent upon specialist advice from heating engineers and trade merchants with three quarters turning to them for insight on options and costs.
Installers are also crucial to delivering the transition and, with many in their 50s and 60s, there is a need to support newer installers to gain skills in heat pumps, hybrid boilers and other technologies alongside retraining experienced installers.
“Transforming the way that UK homes are heated to reduce environmental impact will take time. There are big hurdles to overcome around cost and reskilling of existing heating engineers,” commented Simon Oakland, CEO, Wolseley Group.
“The appetite for more sustainable home heating is clearly there across the country,” he continued before concluding: “It is clear that the Government and the home heating sector need to be working together more closely to accelerate this transition by making the available grants and subsidies clearer, and the options more understandable.