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A fifth of homeowners say homes will never be net zero ready

A fifth of homeowners say homes will never be net zero ready
Shekina Tuahene
Written By:
Shekina Tuahene

A fifth of homeowners do not expect their properties to ever meet net zero standards, as costs present a barrier to upgrades, a survey from a lender found.

Lloyds Banking Group’s ‘Decarbonising the UK’s Homes’ report included research on homeowners and landlords, and revealed just 27% of homeowners will have their homes net zero ready in the next five years. This compares to 56% of landlords. 

Landlords are seemingly taking more action to upgrade their homes as 84% said they had considered or already started making their homes more efficient, opposed to 65% of homeowners. 

Encouragement needed 

The government’s relaxation of net zero requirements did have an impact on landlords, the study showed, as 42% cancelled plans to invest in energy efficiency measures while it made 53% less likely to do so in the future. 

All in all, six in 10 property owners said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure homes were net zero ready. 

Respondents believed mortgage lenders should also assist, as 68% of homeowners and 87% of landlords wanted some kind of support from their bank or mortgage provider. 

The desire to make homes greener was apparent, and 57% of homeowners said it was important to do this by 2035. 

However, there seemed to be a lack of knowledge of how to get there. According to the survey, just 28% of homeowners said they knew what to do to make their homes more efficient. 

This was despite a quarter saying they did not expect to ever move away from the use of oil or gas-fired heating. 

Cost barriers 

The cost of upgrading a home seemed to be a challenge to some, the survey found. 

A fifth of homeowners said they were able to afford the changes to meet the 2035 deadline and 42% of landlords said they had the money. 

However, 49% of homeowners said the upfront costs were prohibitive as did 62% of landlords. 

Of those who had completed retrofit works, 96% were happy with the results. 

Charlie Nunn, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We know the benefits of transforming the UK’s housing stock and the necessary steps to get there. However, we are not currently on-track to deliver the substantial change we need. 

“In order to provide homeowners and landlords with the policy stability and certainty they require to decarbonise, we need a long-term funding and regulatory framework which is born from government’s consideration of a range of incentives, commitment to ensure EPCs are fit-for-purpose, and support for specialist jobs and skills across the country.”