‘More people than ever’ considering energy efficiency of homes

SPRINGFIELD Group has unveiled new data which underlines the value of sustainable building and energy efficiency in the property sector and its increasing importance to homeowners.

Survey responses of over 750 homeowners from across the country found that the vast majority (74%) would pay more for a property if it had a higher energy efficiency rating. Of those agreeing, 35% would pay up to 5% more with 12% paying up to 10% more.

The Springfield Group, which is comprised of Springfield Properties, Springfield Partnerships, Dawn Homes, Walker Group, Tulloch Homes, and Mactaggart & Mickel Homes, builds homes across the country.

The group said that each brand has a ‘strong’ reputation for sustainability with 84% of respondents suggesting that their running costs were ‘much less’ than their friends and family.

The data comes as Scots face the highest increase in home running costs in generations, with millions reducing their energy use to keep spending down. Demonstrating the shifting attitudes to sustainability amongst house buyers, energy efficiency was considered as important as the overall budget and quality of the home when making a purchase decision.

However, the data also underlines a greater appreciation of sustainability more generally, with 97% agreeing they had an interest in sustainability, and over half expressing a ‘strong interest.’ This is reflected in the rise of ‘green’ mortgage products which are designed to offer borrowers preferential terms for homes that meet high environmental standards.

72% of customers also said that ‘environmental considerations’ was the most influential factor in deciding between different housebuilders in the area, while 27% of those surveyed suggested that they are considering switching to an electric vehicle – a figure much higher than the national average which sees just 2% of drivers owning battery powered cars.

Innes Smith, chief executive of Springfield Group, said, “These figures reveal a very decisive shift in the attitudes of homebuyers, with more people than ever before considering the efficiency of their home. A year ago, energy efficiency would not have been a top consideration for buyers, with customers more interested in our high specification and the quality of our fittings before levels of insulation or EPC ratings.

“At Springfield, we’ve always built with sustainability in mind, using FSC approved timber kits created in Scotland with thick, quality insulation which delivers the most direct benefit to the customer, providing a comfortable temperature, reducing energy costs, and lowering the impact on the environment.

“But now efficiency is more important to us now than ever before and is something that is right at the forefront of our home and community designs. Electric car charging point infrastructure is included as standard in any of our new build homes, and we have widespread use of air source heat pumps across our developments. These features, as well as the use of sustainable building materials, ensures our new build homes have far lower carbon emissions compared to older properties, and lower energy bills, estimated to be one third of the national average.”