Baz Ashmawy at the launch of Bank of Ireland’s new online energy efficiency hub to support customers with energy efficiency with Aine McCleary, Chief Customer Officer, Bank of Ireland and Susan Russell, CEO Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland. Photo: Naoise Culhane

9 in 10 feel their house would benefit from energy upgrade

By Maisie Mould

The majority of consumers are making efforts to be more energy efficient, a new survey has found.

Run by Red C for Bank of Ireland, the survey revealed that 85% of consumers are aware of what they need to do to be more energy efficient, with 84% believing they are already taking steps to do so.

Nearly 9 in 10 consumers felt that their property would benefit from an energy upgrade, the main motive being reduced energy costs for the home and improved comfort.

Bank of Ireland has launched initiatives based around this, including their new EcoSaver mortgage, offering discounted rates for all homes with energy-efficient ratings.

The EcoSaver offers reductions for all BER levels. Homes are rated on a scale between A and G, with the former being the most energy efficient, and the latter being the least.

They have also created an online hub which will help customers understand their Building Energy Rating (BER).

Áine McCleary, Chief Customer Officer at BOI, said: “We’re not just funding mortgages or retrofitting, we also have a role in providing practical information and supports so customers can improve their energy efficiency. Our online hub is designed to help customers who are on that journey, or who may be thinking about it.”

She highlighted that the EcoSaver mortgage even offers reduced rates to homes rated lowest, and described it as “a fairer system, which rewards more people.”

The highest discounts are rewarded to the homes with the best energy efficiency ratings, with a 0.35 percentage point cut on A rated properties. The discount goes down to 0.3 points on B-rated properties, and drops to 0.05 points for G-rated homes.

Newly built properties are likely to be rated higher on the scale, with second hand homes generally being less efficient. Most first-time buyers will purchase a second-hand home, and therefore are unlikely to qualify for higher ratings.

BOI has partnered with SSE Airtricity to provide BER a One Stop Shop to their customers for BER assessments, home retrofitting services and assessments of works, quotes.

Stuart Hobbs, director of Energy Solutions at SSE Airtricity, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Bank of Ireland to help households to improve their energy efficiency. Warmer, cosier and more energy efficient homes benefit people, communities, and the planet.”

The research also showed 6 out of 10 people plan to retrofit their home in the future, with 1 in 10 having already done so. Cost perception varied, with almost half thinking that it would come to between €20,000-€60,000, and a quarter over €60,000.

BOI offers customers undertaking this work the Green home improvement loan, which has the Bank’s lowest available variable rate home improvement loan.