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A climate change of heart: Homeowners ‘held back’ by cost of going green

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Three quarters of UK adults are concerned about climate change, but many want more financial support when making greener decisions, a consumer champion reveals.

Four in five (82%) of the 2,067 respondents surveyed by Which? said they acknowledged their role in reducing society’s impact on the environment. A total of 28% of holidaymakers declared they are staying in more local destinations to avoid racking up too many air miles.

The desire to contribute positively to the climate change battle is present. However, three in ten (29%) are not making any considerable changes and the number of drivers unwilling to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) has also shot up since 2021.

One in three (34%) would not consider getting a battery-powered or hybrid car, compared to one in five two years ago. This lack of support for EVs is due to the cost (63%), availability of public charge points (51%) and the price of installing a kerbside charging point at home (50%).

The other kickback on green issues comes with low-carbon systems like heat pumps, an item which around four in ten (44%) homeowners were unable to define.

‘Vitally important’ Government keeps looking for sustainable solutions

Even those who are aware of what heat pumps are remain deterred, as 67% believe the price of installing one is the main barrier against converting to the carbon-friendly system.

Rishi Sunak’s decision last week to delay parts of his net zero plan for the country mean homeowners will have more time to transition to more energy efficient heating systems.

As well as pushing back plans for landlords to comply with higher EPC ratings to 2028, the PM boosted the grant for families who will need to replace their boilers from £5,000 to £7,500.

On the nation’s attitude to make environmentally friendly changes, Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “It’s clear that consumers want to play their part in helping tackle climate change, but our research has found that lack of awareness, reliable information and the cost of some green technologies is currently holding them back from leading more sustainable lives.

“It’s vitally important that the government weakening its net zero pledges does not prevent it from working in earnest with businesses to develop and support sustainable solutions.

“Consumers also need lower prices, more choice and confidence in making the switch to green alternatives – whether that’s the car they drive or how they heat their home and improve its insulation.”