54% of UK tradespeople jobs now geared towards energy saving

54% of UK tradespeople jobs now geared towards energy saving

Against the ongoing cost of living crisis, a Screwfix survey* has found more than half (54%) of all jobs being carried out by UK tradespeople over the past year have had an energy saving focus, up by a third when compared to 2022**. 

More than 400 tradespeople took part in the survey, with 86% saying that homeowners were motivated to make the switch to energy saving products to save money on their bills. Just over a third (36%) said their main reason was to help tackle climate change. 

When questioned on what type of energy efficiency jobs tradespeople were getting in, energy saving lighting topped the list at 44%, followed by smart thermostats (26%), while loft insulation and new radiators followed closely behind with 25% and 24%, respectively.  

Questioned on what else is needed to further increase the energy efficiency of UK homes, 74% of those working in the trades felt that a reduction or removal of current VAT rates on products was key, a figure which rose from 64% in 2022. 

Meanwhile, when asked which potential government-led incentives would encourage more homeowners to invest in energy efficient measures, 61% of tradespeople said providing energy efficiency grants for home improvements. The removal of VAT on labour also scored highly at 33%.  

Jack Wallace, Marketing Director at Screwfix, said: “With the twin pressures of a cost-of-living crisis and high energy costs, the past twelve months has seen the volume of energy efficiency related jobs undertaken by tradespeople rise significantly – with those surveyed saying over half of all their jobs (54%) are energy efficiency based – up from 38% a year ago. 

“Screwfix has an important role to play in ensuring we offer unbeatable value across the innovative products and solutions tradespeople need to help them get their energy efficiency jobs done quickly, affordably, and right first time. And, by sharing their thoughts on this subject, we hope the industry can provide wider support to help in this crucial area.”  

Angie Clemson, builder and owner of Spruce Property Services – and Screwfix Top Tradesperson finalist in 2023 – provides her experience of energy efficiency installations 

When it comes to energy efficiency – what are the most common jobs customers are asking for?

“I have noticed a real increase in insulation jobs, as homeowners have become more aware of energy efficiency. We specialise in buildings built before the 1920’s and special consideration must be taken when selecting insulating materials for period properties, as different types of insulation can affect the fabric of the building in different ways. Older buildings have solid walls that should be allowed to breathe, so modern materials are not necessarily the best fit for older buildings.

The wrong type of insulation can have detrimental effects on the property in the long-term, causing issues such as black mould, damp and rot – creating an unhealthy environment to live in. A versatile and naturally sustainable choice is sheep wool such as CosyWool insulation roll – this works very effectively for garage conversions and outside office buildings, as well as lofts. I would strongly advise other tradespeople working on older properties to do some research into the home before advising fabric improvements, taking into consideration the building’s age and tailoring the insulation materials to ensure they are suitable to the property.”

What is a lesser-known tip you’d offer to customers looking to increase energy efficiency and potentially reduce bills?

“As builders, we know that we have a responsibility to offer homeowners great solutions when it comes to energy efficiency. So, before I install a standard bathroom fan, I discuss with the customer the option of a fan with heat recovery instead. These products do a fantastic job at keeping the bathroom dry and warm by recovering the heat from wasted air going out and transferring it to the fresh air coming in. 

By recommending something as simple as a fan with a heat exchanger I can increase the revenue I make on the job. Meanwhile, the customer can save money in the long-term with improved energy efficiency, preventing the heat escaping and cold air coming through – as it does with a standard bathroom fan.”

What is the one energy saving product you’d personally recommend?

“I always recommend that homeowners upgrade their boiler controls and radiators as this tends to be a cost-effective way to potentially make a big difference to the customer. Old radiators need more water so they cost more to heat and outdated control panels are nowhere near as versatile as the modern ones. I would personally recommend the Drayton Wiser wireless control kit, which is available at Screwfix. It’s a fantastic product and it is compatible with most boilers.”

For further information on Spruce Property Services visit Spruce Property Services

For more information on Screwfix, please visit www.screwfix.com  

* The 2023 Screwfix Energy Efficiency Survey polled 419 UK tradespeople to understand attitudes towards energy efficiency in the industry. 
** The 2022 Screwfix Energy Efficiency Survey surveyed 599 UK tradespeople.  

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