Almost 70% of homeowners are making their homes more energy efficient as cost-of-living bites

Insulation being installed in a home

Almost 70% of homeowners throughout Ireland have made or plan to make changes to make their homes more energy efficient as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, according to a new survey from Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC. Only 31% of respondents to the survey said that they have made no changes, and don’t plan to make any.

The latest consumer survey of 1,000 adults throughout the country, conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva sought to understand if homeowners are actively introducing more energy efficient measures in their homes.  While 38% of respondents said that this is something that they have already acted on, 48% of homeowners plan to make changes or to add to those already made.

The most popular sustainable measures introduced by homeowners include recycling as much as possible (87%), changing lightbulbs to LEDs (64%), turning down the thermostat (56%) and insulating the attic (55%).  Future sustainable measures planned include fully insulating their homes (37%) or attic (30%), switching to a green energy provider (35%) and replacing the windows in their homes (30%). However, the addition of solar panels on roofs appears low amongst respondents with less than one in ten homeowners (9%) having already fitted electricity-generating solar panels on their homes and only a further 22% planning to do so.

Commenting on the findings Billy Shannon, Head of Pricing, Aviva Ireland – GI said: “Making their home more energy efficient is on the cards for large numbers (69%) of homeowners across the country and of these, 38% have already begun to make some changes, while almost 50% said they plan to do so in the next 12 to 24 months.

“Whilst we don’t know precisely what is driving homeowners to undertake these energy improvements, it is reasonable to assume that it is a combination of the proliferation of climate change messages hitting home combined with the cost-of-living challenges, particularly around fuel costs. State grants, which could halve the cost of a deep retrofit, may also be prompting people to take action.

“Many households have seen their electricity and gas bills more than double since the start of last year and, if ever there was a time to take action to help reduce these ongoing expenses, it is before the winter weather really bites. People can save thousands by energy-proofing their homes – and our survey shows that, for many, this message has hit home. The reluctance amongst homeowners to get solar panels installed could simply be down to the fact that people cannot afford the initial cost at this time and/or that they are not aware of the benefits of solar panelling or the grants available”, concluded Billy Shannon.

When respondents to the Aviva survey were asked about the sustainability measures that they have already introduced or plan to introduce, the following were found to be the most common measures already introduced;

  • Recycling – most people recycle as much as possible (87%)
  • LED bulbs – More than six in ten have already made the switch and a further 28% plan to do so
  • Turning down the thermostat – more than half already do this (56%) and more say they plan to (17%)
  • Attic insulation – more than half of respondents have done this (55%). This is very popular amongst those over 55 years of age
  • Fully insulate the house– Four in ten people have already gone down this route while three in ten have plans to. Just a quarter of people say it’s not on their agenda
  • A smart home device to control heating & lighting – with 27% having introduced it in the home and a further 28% of respondents planning to
  • Replacing windows – more than a quarter of respondents (26%) have already done this and a further three in ten plans to
  • Switch to a green energy provider – while just a quarter of people making the switch to date, 35% of respondents say they plan to
  • Solar panel – most (62%) homeowners have no plans to install these in their homes – and only 9% of those surveyed said they had done this, while 22% have plans to


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