To mark this year’s Earth Day on 22nd April, Rated People reveals how UK tradespeople are going greener in 2022, which are the UK’s greenest trades, and how homeowner demand for eco home improvements is skyrocketing
New research from the find-a-tradesperson platform, Rated People reveals how UK tradespeople are adapting their businesses this year to be more environmentally friendly as homeowner demand for ‘eco home improvements’ like roof insulation, electric car charging points, and heat pumps goes through the roof.
Uniquely placed with its own marketplace data, Rated People analysed more than 800,000 home improvement jobs posted by UK homeowners on its platform, and spoke to over 600 tradespeople and 2,000 homeowners to conduct the study. It shows that almost two in three tradespeople (63%) will be making eco changes to their businesses and work in 2022, and 70% are planning to extend their skillset this year to take on more eco jobs.
Four in five (81%) tradespeople think eco home improvements will be even more popular this year for homeowners and 43% of UK homeowners also said they would now be more likely to choose a tradesperson if they were environmentally friendly. So, there’s a big opportunity for tradespeople if they increase their green credentials this year.
The findings are taken from the 2022 Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report which also shows that UK tradespeople are reducing travel by taking more local jobs, giving quotes remotely and using British parts where possible in 2022. They’re also planning to recycle more, use greener materials and drive electric vehicles in 2022 to make their businesses more eco-friendly.
The top eight eco changes tradespeople are making in 2022:
- Improve recycling – 41% (of tradespeople will do this in 2022)
- Reduce waste – 34%
- Use environmentally friendly materials/ products – 27%
- Take jobs locally/ don’t travel too far for jobs – 27%
- Give more quotes remotely to cut down on driving – 25%
- Get an electric vehicle – 20%
- Use British parts where possible/ support other local businesses –18%
- Use second hand parts where possible – 14%
The Greenest Trades
When looking at which trades are planning to make eco changes this year, more than four in five (85%) bathroom fitters are intending to be more environmentally friendly in 2022 – the most of any trade. And at least 55% of all the other trades in the top 10 are also looking to upgrade their practices to be more environmentally friendly this year.
The top 10 trades making eco changes the most in 2022:
- Bathroom fitters – 85% (are going greener this year)
- Roofers – 75%
- Gardeners/ landscape gardeners – 68%
- Builders – 68%
- Electricians – 65%
- Carpenters/ joiners – 64%
- Painters and decorators – 62%
- Plumbers – 60%
- Plasterers/renderers – 59%
- Tilers – 55%
Almost two in three tradespeople (63%) say their main motivation for making eco changes this year is because they care about the planet. An awareness of changing consumer preferences is also having an impact, with one in three (36%) of those who are making eco changes in 2022, saying they’re making changes because homeowners want businesses to be more environmentally friendly. Just 13% say they are doing it because their competitors are, so they feel they also need to.
Rising Homeowner Demand and Increasing Cost of Living
The research also reveals homeowner demand for eco home improvements has accelerated at an incredible pace as the cost of living soars.
Almost half of UK homeowners (45%) want to make eco improvements to their homes this year to reduce their impact on the planet, which is up from 35% last year, and alongside living more sustainably, many homeowners also say cost savings are a big motivating factor for getting the work done. More than half of UK homeowners (52%) say they want to make eco upgrades this year to save money on bills, and one in three (36%) say they want to make eco upgrades to their home to make long-term financial savings.
When looking at the volume of jobs posted by homeowners looking for tradespeople on Rated People, homeowner demand for roof insulation increased by an impressive 419% in 2021 when compared to the year before. At-home electric car charging points saw demand increase by 404%, and considering last year saw the biggest annual increase in the number of electric car registrations in the UK*, it’s easy to see why. Requests for tradespeople to work on cavity wall insulation jobs went up by 352% and heat pumps saw demand rise by 312%.
The top 10 eco jobs with the biggest increases in demand from homeowners:
- Roof insulation – 419% (increase in the number of jobs posted to Rated People)
- At-home electric charging point – 404%
- Cavity wall insulation – 352%
- Heat pump (air/ground source) – 312%
- Underfloor insulation – 265%
- Smart meters – 49%
- Living roofs – 48%
- Thermal insulation – 46%
- Triple glazing – 35%
- Electric underfloor heating – 33%
Eco Upgrade Opportunities for Tradespeople in 2022
When looking at the top 10 most popular eco adaptions for this year, the research shows UK homeowners are keen to invest in eco home technology. One in five are planning to have a smart meter installed, and given energy prices are increasing by around £700 a year on average for households**, it’s easy to understand the motivation.
One in five (19%) will also be installing smart lighting, 18% are upgrading old appliances for newer more energy efficient models, and one in six (18%) want to have solar panels installed.
The top 10 eco improvements homeowners are planning to make in 2022:
- Installing a smart meter – 20%
- Draught proofing – 20%
- Installing smart lighting – 19%
- Extra insulation – 19%
- Upgrading old appliances – 18%
- Installing solar panels – 18%
- Installing a low flow toilet – 14%
- Installing double glazing – 13%
- Creating a compost pile – 13%
- Installing a smart thermostat – 13%
Where Demand is Increasing the Most in the UK
It’s Aberdeen that saw the biggest rise in demand for eco home improvement jobs in 2021, with 178% more eco jobs posted on Rated People, when compared to the year before.
Bournemouth, Llandudno, Kirkaldy and Ipswich make up the rest of the top five – all of which have seen homeowner demand for eco home improvements increase by a minimum of 140% in just one year.
The UK towns and cities where demand for eco home improvements has increased the most:
- Aberdeen – 178% (increase in the number of jobs posted in 2021 compared to the year before)
- Bournemouth – 174%
- Llandudno – 170%
- Kirkcaldy – 167%
- Ipswich – 146%
- Newport – 131%
- Guildford – 127%
- Exeter – 125%
- Gloucester – 115%
- Newcastle Upon Tyne – 113%
Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People commented:
“Awareness around the importance of living more sustainably has never been higher, and it’s brilliant to see how tradespeople are looking to reduce their impact on the planet by running their businesses in a more environmentally friendly way.
With rising homeowner demand for eco improvements, there is so much opportunity throughout 2022 for tradespeople to grow their businesses and help homeowners with their work.
Our homes have so much potential to help the planet – whether that’s improving insulation to prevent energy loss, or installing solar panels and wind turbines to create green energy. We look forward to seeing the incredible work that our tradespeople and homeowners complete across the UK this year!”
To see the research and the full 2022 Home Improvement Trends Report, click here