N&P urges homeowners to grow good habits

Norwich and Peterborough Building Society has revealed the results of its latest environmental survey as National Tree Week (20th November – 1st December 2002) approaches.

Although three quarters (75%) of all those surveyed see climate change as something to be worried about, compared to 80% who were asked the same question in 2001, 25% still don&#39t see that it will affect them or their homes.

• 48% say “nothing will happen for years yet”

• 28% say the change in climate “won&#39t affect them”

• 15% said they don&#39t worry because “it&#39s not their problem”

• 10% gave different reasons including that climate change is “natural”

73% of those who do worry about climate change said, when asked, that they do connect it with energy-saving measures that they themselves can undertake. For example turning lights off when they&#39re not needed, leaving the car at home and walking or cycling when making short journeys.

Of all those surveyed, a very encouraging 69% believe that there is something that they, as an individual, can do to slow down global warming. And when asked if they already do anything to try and reduce the effects of global warming.

• 49% said they do

• 32% said they would but they don&#39t know what they can do

• 19% admitted that they don&#39t try

Housing accounts for a quarter of the UK&#39s harmful “greenhouse gas” emissions and through using energy, the average home emits more than the average car! Nearly three quarters (71%) of those surveyed are aware that using energy in the home contributes to climate change. And, although 66% are aware that draftproofing their home, insulating the loft, using energy efficient lightbulbs, turning off lights etc are all ways in which they could reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, 68% of those surveyed have already undertaken these energy-saving measures.

And when it was brought to their attention that they could help to reduce global warming, 79% agreed that they would make an effort, up on 77% last year.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of all those surveyed are aware that by planting trees, over time, carbon dioxide emission caused by using energy in the home, can be offset and therefore help the environment. 63% of those surveyed are aware that N&P has a green mortgage scheme. N&P planted its first Green mortgage in 1998.

Just two years later in July 2000, N&P became the first mortgage lender to offer a Carbon Neutral mortgage – this off-shoot was developed in association with environmental group Future Forests.

Stephen Penlington, N&P&#39s General Manager, says: “National Tree Week is an ideal opportunity to remind people that climate change is something that will affect us all. The only way we are going to be able to deal with it is if we all begin to take responsibility for the emissions we produce.

There&#39s no doubt that awareness is growing over the years but we still have some way to go.

“We want to raise awareness of the problem and show people they can do something practical – be more energy efficient and, through our green mortgages, plant trees to absorb the harmful gases that contribute to global warming. Making their homes more energy efficient saves our customers money too so it&#39s a win-win situation.”

For every home, which is bought or re-mortgaged using a Green Mortgage, N&P plants 40 trees – eight per year for five years. Over time, the trees will absorb or offset the CO2 emissions produced by the property, making it carbon neutral for five years. Customers are offered the choice to carry on the scheme after that, through Future Forests.

Loan incentives include 1.00% (or 1.25%) discount for 4 years according to the type of property, a free energy survey, £500 cashback towards home improvements, free standard property valuation, no early redemption charge – all depending on the scheme chosen.