UK shells out for greener homes

Brits are planning to spend a whopping £13bn on environmentally-friendly home improvements, according to new research.

Some homeowners are considering installing solar panels to reduce their home's carbon footprint

Some homeowners are considering installing solar panels to reduce their home's carbon footprint

A poll for Co-operative Bank Mortgages found that UK residents are prepared to spend an average of more than £550 per household to go green.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed also claimed they have already taken steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their des res over the last year alone.

The most popular green changes included recycling household waste, with 66% of people making this simple change, followed by turning electrical items off standby and switching to energy saving light bulbs.

More expensive changes, such as adding loft insulation, installing double glazed windows and putting in cavity wall insulation were also in the top ten.

Researchers also found that a significant proportion of people are planning less conventional green improvements - one in ten want to install a rainwater capture system and 7% are considering adding solar panels.

The greenest region, according to the survey, is Wales, where 75% of people say they have taken steps to make their homes greener over the past year.

At the other end of the scale, Northern Ireland and the South West have the lowest proportion, with 65% introducing eco-friendly improvements.

John Barker, head of mortgages at the Co-operative Bank, said: "This research clearly shows that people are really starting to sit up and take notice of green issues in relation to their homes.

"Houses are one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK and taking steps to improve the environmental impact of homes is something that we strongly believe should be encouraged."

Last year, London Mayor Ken Livingstone introduced a scheme allowing Londoners to access free advice about reducing the carbon footprint of their homes or pay for a personalised 'green audit'.

Kate Martin


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