As energy bills continue to soar, it seems that more people now realise that going green is a great way to save money, as well as save the planet.

A survey conducted by Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (N&P) has revealed that 69% of people said they were more likely to install energy-efficient features in their homes now, compared to this time last year. It seems that the rising costs of gas, electricity and water are really starting to hurt, encouraging people to look for cheaper or more efficient methods of running their homes.

The survey was staged among customers to discover their views on "green" issues to mark the launch of N&P's annual Eco Self-Build competition, which is now in its seventh year. The competition gives home-owners who have undertaken an "eco self-build" the chance to win £5,000 in cash. The winner will be the entrant whose property has, in the opinion of the judges, the most positive impact on the environment.

N&P asked people if they were ever to have a home built to their individual requirements, would they incorporate green features such as solar panels, a wind turbine, or ground source heat pumps? An impressive 87% of people said that they would, which is an increase of 6% on last year, when the same question was posed to customers. Of the remaining 13%, who said they would not use green features, nearly a third (30%) said they were worried about cost and 40% said they felt they did not know enough about it. 24% said they were ‘not interested' and the remaining 6% did not give a reason. Respondents were also asked to rank 10 features in order of preference for inclusion in their "dream home". Energy efficiency came second in the overall priority list at 63% - beaten only to the top spot by a designer kitchen (77%).

N&P Eco Self-Build competition judge Chris Holey, who has 30 years' surveying experience, said he was pleased that more people were realising the need to use energy-saving systems and gadgets in running their homes more efficiently. He said: "It is great to see that more people are considering making their homes more energy efficient. It is important that everyone does what they can to reduce their impact upon the environment, and I am encouraged by the findings of this survey. I hope that the winner of this year's Eco Self-Build competition will inspire others to improve their own homes. I'm looking forward to the judging!"


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