Thursday 12 October 2023

We’ve neglected efficiency because it hasn’t hurt us yet, says expert

We’ve neglected efficiency because it hasn’t hurt us yet, says expert

Houses in the UK lose heat up to three times faster than the average property on the continent.

This is what Bryan Charter, Co-Founder and CEO of efficiency consultancy app, SuSy.house told us in this week’s Net Hero Podcast.

He said: ‘Efficiency became so much more on the agenda during the fuel increases last winter because suddenly it hurt and it started to impact people’s lives.

‘And this is the challenge with the green agenda as a whole and one of the ways that we’ve really tried to approach this is that we don’t go at it from a green agenda perspective.

‘We go at it from a comfort and cost perspective because ultimately, people may have really good intentions or they want to do their bit but it’s when push comes to shove, it’s when it is painful that they actually get on and do something.’

Surprisingly, those already living in efficient houses are more open to retrofitting.

Mr Charter said: 'Studies have shown that people who are more open to making retrofit to their homes at the moment are those who are already in the C or above category, who've actually already got the benefit.

'I think some people are so far away that they think, well, there's so much to do, why do I bother?'

Bryan told us that to encourage homeowners to retrofit their houses, legislators need to work on alleviating the cost and burden placed on homeowners.

He said: ‘It’s a real balance. When a political party who comes into power says, tell you what, I’m going to force you all to spend £25,000 on improving your home. Well they’re not going to stay in power very long. So the carrot and stick thing is really challenging.

‘I think the total estimate to retrofit all of UK homes, it comes into something like half a trillion. It's very significant and the government is not going to be able to foot that bill and therefore you've got to engage the individual to do it.

‘Now, if you legislate for that, if you make it illegal to have a property that is below a certain band, what do you do for the people who simply can't afford it?

‘We get taxed on the basis of how efficient our cars are. How long will it be before we're taxed on the basis of how efficient our homes are?

‘And there may be increments like that, the way they're trying to make it happen is they're putting pressure on the banks to have green mortgage tariffs. If you've got a more efficient home, you get a better mortgage tariff, so you're sort of cancelling out that cost.’

Bryan added that his app, SuSy.house, aims to make the process of retrofitting easier. It helps customers understand their consumption, connects them to trusted tradespeople for retrofitting and financial institutions for funding.

Listen to the full podcast above and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

Written by

Garima Satija

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