UK tradespeople are seeing increased demand for energy efficiency projects as homeowners look for ways to deal with their rising heating costs.
That’s according to the latest Repair, Maintenance and Improvement Index, from builders merchant Travis Perkins, which found that 71% of tradespeople were reporting increased interest from customers in energy efficiency projects.
The energy cost rises are also affecting the tradespeople themselves, as 80% they are changing how they work due to the rise in fuel prices, for example, holding more virtual visits with clients instead of visiting them in person. 6% also said that they have decided to invest in more fuel-efficient cars, vans or lorries. Despite this, and uncertainties caused by material prices rises and the war in Ukraine, the survey shows 93% of tradespeople expect workloads to either increase or remain unchanged in the next two months.
The survey is the fourth full publication of Travis Perkins’ RMI Index following the inaugural report published in August 2020 and covers builders, electricians, plumbers, joiners and other tradespeople.
Nick Roberts, CEO of Travis Perkins plc said: “Having met the challenges posed by the pandemic head on, the resilience of the UK’s
tradespeople continues to be tested, and they are, once again, having to adapt their businesses to deal with other challenges facing the wider economy. Nevertheless, they remain confident in the outlook for their businesses and, while many are having to adjust how they
operate to deal with rising fuel prices, the increased demand for projects that improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock is encouraging. With one of the oldest housing stocks in Europe, the UK’s ambition of achieving net zero carbon by 2050 depends on remedial
activity, which will lower the heating bills today and decarbonise our homes for the future.
“Along with housebuilders and developers, it is the UK’s army of tradespeople who will ultimately make this happen and, as the leading partner to the UK construction sector, we are ready to work in partnership with them to help deliver this vision.”
The report will be featured in BMJ’s May issue; in the meantime, a copy can be downloaded HERE