Intermediaries pessimistic about green plans

A survey, by UCB Home Loan shows that 67% of intermediaries believe that the UK will not be able to achieve its target of making all new homes carbon neutral within the next 10 years.

Less than thirty homes in the UK are currently carbon neutral, but the government wants all new properties to fall into this category by 2016.

The survey also reveals that only 44% of mortgage advisers think that the UK will be able to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2050, even though the government’s actual target is an even bigger reduction of 60%.

Keith Astill, managing director at UCB Home Loans, says: “The views of intermediaries are important, because they are responsible for arranging a large proportion of all home loans – including new build developments.

“They deal directly with homebuyers and so are ideally placed to make a judgment.”

“Whilst part of the reduction in carbon emissions will need to come from industry, the research indicates that most people are not yet aware of the actions that they will need to take if the UK is to meet its targets on carbon emissions.”

Government figures show that the UK’s 21 million homes are responsible for 27% of carbon dioxide emissions.

The UCB Home Loans survey shows that the majority of mortgage advisers (98%) believe that most homeowners do not know the size of their own carbon footprint, and a similar figure (94%) say people do not know the best ways to reduce their carbon output.

Most (88%) feel that we should modify our behaviour to counteract global warming.

Over a quarter (27%) think that we have left it too late, whilst 57% say that there is still time left to do something about it and the remainder are unsure.

Two thirds (65%) say that mortgage lenders should be taking action on green issues and a further 58% say that mortgage intermediaries could also help to reduce carbon emissions.

Over half (52%) say that they have already taken measures on green issues within their own businesses.

Last week, UCB Home Loans unveiled its launch of a long-term programme of initiatives on environmental issues.

Publications and an awareness campaign are planned for the coming months, including a consumer booklet advising property owners on the best ways of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.

The lender is already active on reducing its own carbon emissions and expects its operations to be carbon neutral in the near future.

Astill says: “Both lenders and homeowners need to devote greater attention to reducing energy wastage, and this is evidenced by the fact that all homes going on the market after June 1 will have their energy rating graded in the new Energy Performance Certificates, which will play a central role in the new Home Information Packs.”