NHBC says housebuyers will pay a premium for energy efficiency

Housebuyers may be willing to pay a premium for more energy efficient homes, contrary to popular industry perceptions, the homebuilding standards body has said.

Homebuilders have long complained that energy efficiency comes at a cost that cannot be passed onto the consumer.

But speaking at the annual Zero Carbon Hub conference Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of industry standards body the National House Building Council (NHBC), said results of the NHBC’s latest customer attitude survey, published on 14 February, showed housebuyers “may be willing to pay a premium where there are clear savings on energy bills”.

He said the survey found two thirds of occupiers of new homes were happy with their energy bills compared with only one third in older homes. He added that this achievement was impressive given rising fuel prices in recent years.

He said that homeowners needed to be given better information from developers about how to run their homes efficiently to make the most of the higher standards of new buildings.

Kirk Archibald, head of sustainability at Fairview Homes, said such a change in customer attitudes would make a “huge difference” to the new build market. “Anything which allows us to differentiate our new product from those already in the market place is a good thing,” he added.

However, he said that the Green Deal would make existing properties more energy efficient and lessen the premium that new properties might attract.