Over half of households are considering home improvements due to more time spent at home, new research has shown
Insights research commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions, Energia and House2Home to mark the nationwide launch of the CU Greener Homes scheme has found that over half (60%) of Leinster households are considering home improvements due to more time spent at home, illustrative of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is broadly in line with a national average of 56%.
The research shows that comfort and warmth (57%) and saving money on energy (51%) are the two main drivers of future Leinster home improvements.
Meanwhile the kitchen (60%) is the room most Leinster respondents would like to improve, with the living room (34%) and the attic (42%) also popular.
When it comes to preferred home improvements, insulation is the first choice for many in Leinster– 32% would like to fit attic insulation, 23% would opt for exterior wall insulation, while 23% would like to improve interior wall insulation.
The research found that 50% would spend up to €5,000 on home improvements with 37% planning to spend in excess of €10,000.
This indicates a wide range of improvements are being considered and a significant proportion of Leinster households who are prepared to make a large investment in long-term upgrades.
Half of all households surveyed have already upgraded their homes – with 50% having completed home improvements or energy efficiency upgrades in the last 3 years, which is above the national average of 42%.
Access to finance
75% of Leinster households who borrowed to finance their home improvements did so from a credit union – compared to 68% nationally.
Of those planning to borrow to fund their future home improvement plans, 30% of respondents said they will borrow from a credit union, compared to 5% who plan to take a bank loan.
Carbon Footprint and Sustainable Homes
63% of Leinster respondents feel Ireland isn’t doing enough to reduce our carbon footprint, compared to 57% nationally.
In addition, 80% think a better BER or energy rating for their own home would positively impact the environment.
Barriers to improvement
While there is clearly a desire among Leinster households to undertake improvements to maximise the energy efficiency of their homes, the research highlights a lack of knowledge regarding suitable green home energy solutions and how to get started on this type of project.
Almost two thirds (64%) of Leinster respondents were unsure of what supports and grants are available, and many simply do not know where to start with a home energy efficiency upgrade (66%).
58% of Leinster households would carry out more green home improvements if the process appeared to be more straight forward, indicating a desire to upgrade but uncertainty on how to realise this ambition.
CU Greener Homes scheme
Paul Bailey, Head of Communications of the Irish League of Credit Unions said,
“We have been aware for some time, through our member credit unions, of the significant demand for a green home improvement loan.
“In keeping with the Government’s Climate Action Plan, we embarked on an explorative journey with Energia and House2Home to see how we could collaborate to deliver the SEAI preferred one stop shop approach to deep retrofitting.
“The outcome of this journey is the CU Greener Homes scheme. Our aim is to make the process of deep retrofitting easy and cost effective for credit union members across Leinster.
“In Energia and House2Home, we have found two partners who share our passion for excellent customer experience and commitment to the environment.”
Further information on the CU Greener Home Scheme is available at https://cugreenerhomes.ie/