Savings top reason for upgrades
Comfort, warmth and energy efficiency are currently the top priorities for Irish people looking to upgrade their home, according to a recent survey.
Carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), the survey found that 74% of the 1,000 participants are motivated by potential savings to their bills, while 62% are focused on a desire for more comfort and warmth. Other reasons included a desire to avail of grant support (43%) and to be more climate friendly (38%).
When it comes to preferred home energy upgrades, there has been a very significant increase in those intending to carry out attic insulation, perhaps driven by the grants on offer from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). 41% - up from 33% in 2021 – of the survey’s participants said they would like to insulate their attics, followed closely by people wanting to upgrade windows and install solar panels.
The kitchen (48%) is the room most people would like to improve, followed by bedrooms (46%), living room (45%) and exterior of the house (42%).
ILCU Head of Communications, Paul Bailey, said the research provides great insight into the key considerations for households across Ireland.
“Upgrades are being considered evenly across the home, both inside and out, indicating a considered approach as households become more aware of the type of work that can be undertaken. However, it should be noted that there remains a lack of knowledge among householders as to what grants are available, highlighting the importance of ongoing awareness activities and initiatives,” he said.
In 2021, the ILCU, together with Energia and House2Home, launched CU Greener Homes, a one-stop-shop for home energy upgrades. A key feature of the CU Greener Homes website is an energy upgrade calculator which enables people to find out the cost of proposed home energy upgrades and what grant support is available. Visit cugreenerhomes.ie for more information.
The research found that 55% of respondents plan to spend up to €5,000 on home improvements with 29% planning to spend more than €10,000. This indicates that a wide range of improvements are being considered and that a significant proportion of Irish households are prepared to make a large investment in long-term upgrades.
One-third of consumers plan to borrow money to fund home energy upgrades, with the majority saying their local credit union will be their port of call. 33% indicated they will borrow from a bank, with credit cards (2%) and friends and family (1%) also being utilised to fund home energy upgrades.
Despite the recent campaigns to raise awareness of the grants available for home energy upgrades, there continues to be a lack of knowledge amongst consumers regarding grant eligibility, with 75% of consumers saying they don’t know if their planned work will be eligible for a grant.
Carbon footprint and sustainable homes
When it comes to the climate crisis and sustainability, 53% of survey respondents said they believe Irish people are not doing enough to address the climate crisis. This was supported by the fact that being greener or more climate friendly did not feature within the top 3 reasons for a home energy upgrade within the survey.