Climate concerns driving home improvements

Kitchen energy efficient retrofit Step 2

As world governments come together to address the climate emergency at the COP 26 conference in Glasgow this November, a survey undertaken by Green Building Store shows that UK homeowners are increasingly aware of the need to reduce their homes’ climate impact.

The survey undertaken earlier in 2021 shows that homeowners’ environmental concerns were driving their home improvement plans. 81% of the 1000 respondents surveyed, who were planning major home improvements, were very or quite concerned about climate change, with 94% saying that energy efficiency was very or quite important to them. 28% of respondents said that their primary motivation for making energy efficiency or green improvements related to ‘reducing the environmental impact of my home’, while 47% of respondents’ primary motivator was ‘reducing my energy bills’.

Air source heat pumpThe types of green and energy efficient improvements already implemented and under consideration were illuminating. Many of the respondents had already implemented measures like loft and cavity wall insulation, often termed the ‘low hanging fruits’ of energy efficiency. Triple glazed windows & doors, solar PV and heat pumps were the most popular measures being considered for future implementation by the respondents, with 31%, 28% and 21% of respondents considering the measures.

Chris Herring, Director of Green Building Store commented:

“We are encouraged that climate and environmental considerations are becoming more mainstream and that homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the kind of measures that are needed to improve their home’s efficiency.

To build on this we urgently need greater Government support like a national retrofit strategy and better long-term grants and support for homeowners to implement these carbon-cutting measures.

It is also important that energy efficiency measures are not considered as individual tick-box improvements but as working as part of a part of whole house system. Examples of a whole house approach include: improving the energy efficiency of a home before you install a heat pump; addressing ventilation issues as you improve the airtightness of a home; and considering how triple glazed windows are installed to ensure continuity of insulation and enhance airtightness.”

The whole house approach is inspired by the international Passivhaus low energy building standard and methodology and can be applied to both newbuilds and retrofit. To help increase awareness of Passivhaus and whole house approaches to energy efficiency, Green Building Store is running a series of free webinars and Meet the Expert sessions over the autumn and winter. Homeowners will have a chance to ask questions about their own projects at sessions to be held on wide-ranging topics including Passivhaus, low carbon heating (including heat pumps), and renewable energy.

Find out more:


Survey responses

Green Building Store surveyed 1000 UK respondents planning to ‘Make major home improvements’ using the YouGov Direct self-serve research platform on 09/04/21 at 12.00.


How concerned are you about climate change?

  • Very concerned 41%
  • Quite concerned 40%
  • Neither concerned nor unconcerned 15%
  • Not concerned at all 4%
  • TOTAL 1000


How important to you is the energy efficiency of your home?

  • Very Important 44%
  • Quite Important 50%
  • Neither important nor unimportant 6%
  • Not important at all 0%
  • TOTAL 1000


If you were to make any/further efficiency or green improvements to your home, what would be your main motivation? 

[Please select the option that describes your motivation best.]

  • Reducing the environmental impact of my home 28%
  • Reducing my energy bills 47%
  • Improving my home’s appearance 2%
  • Increasing my home’s value 4%
  • Increasing the warmth and comfort of my home 18%


TOTAL                                                                                                           995     


Energy efficient or green features


Energy efficient/ green features Currently have Planning/ would like to have
Loft Insulation 80%




External wall insulation 18%




Internal wall insulation 17%




Cavity wall insulation 47%




Triple glazed windows & doors 12%




Solar PV 8%




Solar Thermal 2%




MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) 1%




Heat Pumps (Ground or Air Source) 2%




Energy storage battery 1%




None of the above 12%


Total 1000 995



27th September 2021

Comments are closed.

Affiliations & Accreditations