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Half of UK households struggling with high gas and electricity prices

Energy efficiency mobile app on screen. Ecology, eco house concept

Half of households (50%) are not confident in being able to afford higher gas and electricity prices, research from NatWest and S&P Global has revealed.

As a result, 71% of homeowners not planning sustainable home improvements in the next 10 years stated that the cost of having the work done was a specific barrier.

The number of homeowners planning to make big improvements is falling, likely due to the cost. However almost half (48%) of reported turning down the thermostat to reduce energy bills as a result of the rising cost of living, making it the most common energy-saving action.

Lloyd Cochrane, head of mortgages at NatWest said: “Our data has shown that homeowners continue to be affected by increased costs, in particular gas and electricity bills – an ongoing worry over the last year.

“The extension of the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee to June comes at a critical time, with half of households stating they were not confident in being able to afford to be paying higher energy bills.

“We also know that homeowners are keen to make changes that will save money and combat climate change – but the costs of making these changes remain a barrier for homeowners.

“These insights have formed part of our work across industry and our engagement with government to propose policies that can work positively to support consumers improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

“It is key that we support customers financially, so they are not held back from boosting demand for energy efficient products and services.”

Prospective homebuyers aged 35-44 were the most likely to say that an EPC rating of C or above was an ‘essential’ feature (24%), while those aged 18-24 were the least likely (13%)

Meanwhile over a quarter (28%) of prospective homebuyers stated that loft insulation was an ‘essential’ environmental feature.