UK tradespeople see increase in demand for energy efficiency projects

A survey of over 1500 tradespeople across the UK has revealed that the vast majority are optimistic on their near-term prospects, with increased demand from homeowners for projects designed to reduce energy consumption offsetting the pressures they are experiencing as a result of rising fuel costs.

Over nine in ten (93%) respondents to the survey, undertaken by Travis Perkins plc, believe their workloads will increase or remain the same over the next two months, while over two thirds (61%) expect their materials purchasing requirements to increase.

Furthermore, 71% of respondents, who represent a snapshot of the nation’s builders, electricians, plumbers, joiners and other tradespeople, are seeing an increased level of demand in the next few months from homeowners for projects designed to make their homes more energy efficient, such as improved insulation for cavity walls, lofts, walls and ceilings as well as heat pumps and renewable energy sources.

The impact of rising petrol and diesel costs has also altered how the UK’s tradespeople are operating, with eight in ten saying they have changed how they do business. This includes passing on higher fuel costs to customers when pricing projects (39%), choosing to work more locally (31%), and requesting that products be delivered rather than  collected (29%).

Tradespeople are also increasingly turning towards technology to help them combat higher prices at the pumps, with 12% saying that they are 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.

Commenting on the results of the survey, 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.”

Read the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement Index May 2022 and full results here

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