AXA UK research shows over half of homeowners are worried about the cost of climate change

  • 68% said long-term cost savings were the biggest motivation for making ‘green’ home improvements
  • More than half of homeowners (58%) said cost was the greatest barrier to upgrading their homes to make them more energy efficient.

AXA UK’s Homeowner Resilience Report has revealed that more than half of adults (59%) are concerned about the impact of climate change on their homes. With extreme weather events predicted to increase in the UK** in coming years, more people are considering equipping their homes for emerging risks driven by climate change. The survey shows that around three-fifths of homeowners are interested in undertaking home upgrades in the next 10 years.

Research shows that 68% of homeowners questioned said long-term cost savings were the biggest motivation for making ‘green’ improvements to their homes, such as installing solar panels and heat pumps, closely followed by environmental sustainability (47%).

The most popular options for homeowners include purchasing electricity from renewable sources (14%), insulating the home (11%) and fitting double glazed windows (11%).

However, more than a third (35%) of adults said they had not taken any action to upgrade their homes, with 58% saying that cost was a barrier and 28% saying they wouldn’t know where to get reliable advice on home maintenance and upgrading works.

Home improvements are one of the steps that people can take to protect their homes, make them more energy efficient and potentially boost value in the process. In order for this to happen, more support is needed for those who are interested in upgrading their properties.

This is why AXA UK’s Homeowner Resilience report recommends the Government introduces a forward-looking National Retrofitting Strategy with financial support measures to help homeowners with high upfront costs.

With cost cited as a main barrier to making home improvements, homeowners should be aware that putting off making home upgrades and preparing for future adverse weather events could potentially cost more in the long run. Previous research by AXA UK in Nov 2022 shows that repairs for flood and storm damage cost an average of £36,000 and £1,000 respectively, but almost a quarter (24%) of homeowners are not currently protected by a home or contents insurance policy - despite 38% living in areas susceptible to flooding or other extreme weather events.

Tara Foley, CEO AXA Retail UK commented on the research findings:

“It’s clear that although there is appetite for people to future-proof their homes against climate change, there are a number of barriers stopping them from doing so. High upfront costs and a lack of knowledge are some of the key reasons preventing people from acting.

“Not only do we want to provide support to our customers by protecting them when the worst happens, we also want to help them prevent these situations from happening in the first place by providing advice on how to improve the safety, sustainability and efficiency of their homes.

“As an insurer we have a responsibility to look beyond the here and now and identify the risks, opportunities and challenges that could affect us longer term. We offer support to people in times of need, helping keep their families and belongings safe.”

Authored by AXA UK


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