The residential sector is a key component of the government’s mission to lower carbon emissions – in 2021, it accounted for 19.9% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK. Approximately 19 million homes will require energy efficiency improvements before 2035 to ensure the UK is on track to meet its CCC 2050 net zero ambition and an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Added to that is that the UK’s housing stock is among the least energy-efficient in Europe, meaning that improving the energy efficiency of UK homes is a crucial part of the government’s strategy. Several schemes have been launched in support of this goal in recent years.
Failing to implement the necessary measures
While the government’s initiatives are welcome and well-intended, and although householders are increasingly becoming aware of the financial, environmental and lifestyle benefits of energy-saving technologies – the 2022 Greener Homes Attitudes Tracker shows that the rise in the cost of living has made nearly half of UK homeowners speed up their plans to implement energy saving measures over the next 12 months – many homeowners needing to retrofit their properties fail to implement the necessary measures.
There are several reasons, from homeowners having a limited understanding of their home energy use and how to make improvements that align with their personal goals, to a poor grasp of the advice and financial support available. Some are discouraged by an often disjointed and complex customer journey. In contrast, others simply have low confidence in projected savings and, as such, are reluctant to make large investments in energy-saving measures with little understanding of the benefits.
In fact, according to research by Kingfisher, the most common reasons for householders not making home energy improvements are not being able to afford the upfront costs (34%), not knowing enough about what the options are (33%), not being sure if it’s worth the investment (30%) and seeing it as too much hassle (27%).
Education is key
Although advice and information on home energy efficiency solutions are widely available, homeowners don’t have time to become experts in all aspects of retrofitting. Even in cases where homeowners know what they want, understanding the various aspects can often be challenging. As such, they are increasingly seeking a trusted partner to advise and map out their retrofit journey.
To fulfil the role of that trusted partner, the industry must work together to educate homeowners and dispel myths that home energy improvements and upgrades are too costly or difficult to implement.
Additionally, to encourage homeowners to take active steps towards energy efficiency and decarbonisation, it is vital to ensure that the right improvements take place in the right properties, meaning that approaches need to be tailored to suit individual householders.
The answer to meeting these challenges lies in employing technology which presents homeowners with options and solutions in an easy-to-understand way.
Technology to the rescue
Installers must adopt innovative, user-friendly technology to position themselves as trusted advisors. One solution available to them is a software application designed to streamline the user experience and guide homeowners through the entire energy retrofit journey. Developed by Heero Technologies, it enables providers to offer their customers bespoke home energy insights and recommendations.
When faced with hesitant homeowners, the app can be the launchpad for inciting action because it accurately shows which property-specific energy efficiency measures can produce the biggest gains, what the installation cost is, and what savings the suggested improvements will realise.
How homeowners benefit
Heero offers personalised energy recommendations whilst addressing challenges such as the disruption caused by invasive energy efficiency measures and confusion over financing and government funding.
Additionally, it identifies the most effective improvements, streamlines the user experience, and ultimately equips homeowners with the knowledge and tools to make decisions that will help them save money on energy bills, that will have a positive impact on the environment, and that will increase the value of their homes.
The technology allows installers to offer homeowners a seamless customer journey from insight to installation, removing complexity and providing trusted support.
Besides personalised recommendations, the independent energy platform provides valuable information on financing and installing energy-saving home improvements. Due to partnerships with various Financial Services Providers, installers can easily overcome another common retrofit obstacle – access to finance.
Housing accounts for a large percentage of carbon emissions, so hitting the government’s targets will require a major improvement in the energy efficiency of the country’s housing stock, and homeowners have a central role to play.
Considering the magnitude of this challenge, the industry needs to work together to educate homeowners on the many innovative and cost-efficient solutions that make environmental, social, and financial sense and to encourage them to take action.
Technology is the answer for installers looking to guide homeowners as they consider how they can affordably decarbonise their homes. It serves as a tool for equipping homeowners with the knowledge to make decisions that will positively impact their cost of living while making net zero homes a reality and offers installers a wide range of opportunities.