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Increasing demand for retrofitting as research shows nearly half of consumers plan to undertake energy efficiency home improvements in next three years – BPFI

Friday 15th October 2021 – New consumer research published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows an increasing demand for retrofitting with new research showing 49% of consumers are planning to undertake energy efficient home improvements in the next three years, up from 43% on February 2020. Among those who plan such improvements, upgrades to heating controls (24% of respondents) or the installation of solar powered water/heating/electricity (21%) are top of the list. The research comes as this week’s budget announced €202 million from carbon tax revenue for residential and community retrofit schemes and confirmed plans for a scheme (partly funded by the European Investment Bank) that enables credit institutions to offer loans to support home retrofitting at reduced interest rates.

The survey reveals that addressing the cost of upgrades, with measures such as those announced this week, will be key in driving further demand and take up by consumers of retrofitting upgrades. When asked about the barriers to making energy efficient improvements to their homes over 50% of adults claim the high cost associated with such work is the single biggest obstacle. Furthermore, when asked about the factors which would encourage them to consider investing in retrofitting, knowing the costs, having government finance and knowing the energy cost savings were all mentioned by 40% or more of consumers.

With over 3 in 5 consumers (62%) saying they have already undertaken some form of retrofitting the research shows that attic or wall insulation was the most common form of green upgrade completed.

Unsurprisingly, the main reason for wanting to make their home more energy efficient was to help reduce energy bills, which was cited by 42% of consumers, followed by 22% of those who said their main reason was to make their homes warmer/more comfortable.

Looking at how consumers plan to finance retrofitting work, over half of those who have already made home improvements said they had used savings to fund this work with almost one in five having used a bank or credit union loan. For those planning a green upgrade in the next three years, 53% say they plan to use savings with a further 28% saying they will use a loan from a financial services provider and 22% expecting to use government grants.

Commenting on the research findings in the context of recently announcement Government measures, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI said: “Our survey results today show that there is clear and increasing demand by consumers to retrofit their homes for a variety of reasons. This will undoubtedly be further assisted by the measures announced in the budget as well as funding ring fenced in the National Development Plan. BPFI members already have a range of products for customers who choose green finance products by offering discounts on mortgage and personal loans for customers looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The sector is now scaling up to offer additional products such as personal loans, savings and investment and e-car financing in response to and anticipation of the increasing demand.”

“While the banking industry continues to reduce the direct impact on the environment stemming from their own activities and investments, we are acutely aware that our main contribution lies in playing a key role in the transition to a more sustainable economy as the bridge between capital and the real economy. We are ready to play our part and look forward to working with all stakeholders – public and private – local, European, and global – to ensure we are supporting consumers and clients along every step on their journey and to create the right environment for the transition to a green economy.”

ENDS/

Editor’s Note: BPFI commissioned Coyne Research to survey a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Irish adults in August 2021

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, jillian.heffernan@bpfi.ie 087 9016880

About BPFI: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

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