Ethical Performance
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Low carbon technology not understood by consumers

Homeowners are unable to take advantage of the benefits of low and zero carbon technologies because they do not understand how they work, new research by the NHBC Foundation has shown.

All the households monitored during the study stated that the low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies had not been a factor in deciding to purchase the property, and significantly, all were unimpressed with the written guidance provided for using the technologies, with all six households rating it as 'unsuitable'.

The research was carried out by Reading University in six homes across four separate developments and looked at how homeowners lived with the technologies day-by-day.

These new findings are consistent with earlier research published by the NHBC Foundation in 2012, NF40 Today's attitudes to low and zero carbon homes, which identified that action was needed to help consumer understanding of use and maintenance of renewable technologies.

Neil Smith, head of research & innovation, NHBC said: “With more and more homes being fitted with LZC technologies in the run up to the government’s 2016 Zero Carbon homes target, it is a concern that both homeowners and sales staff alike don't fully understand the basic principles of how they work, or the full benefits that they can bring.

“As we move towards the zero carbon future, it is important that the house-building industry and its supply chain recognise the benefits of consumer engagement in the sustainable features of new homes. Helping customers to recognise and take advantage of the benefits that LZC technologies can ensure that the features deliver their potential in reality.”

A copy of the primary research is here.

NHBC Foundation | UK & NI Ireland | Renewable energy

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