UK tradespeople see increase in demand for energy efficiency projects as homeowners grapple with rising heating costs
- 71% of tradespeople report increased interest from customers in energy efficiency projects
- Eight in ten report they are changing how they work due to the rise in fuel prices
- Despite challenges and macroeconomic uncertainty, survey shows 93% of tradespeople expect workloads to either increase or remain unchanged in the next two months
9 May 2022: A survey of over 1,500 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, the UK’s largest supplier of building materials and equipment, 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.
The survey is the fourth full publication of Travis Perkins’ RMI Index following the inaugural report published in August 2020.
Read the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement Index May 2022 and full results here
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. With one of the oldest housing stocks in Europe, the UK’s ambition of achieving net zero carbon by 2050 depends on remedial activity, which will lower the heating bills today and decarbonise our homes for the future. Along with housebuilders and developers, it is the UK’s army of tradespeople who will ultimately make this happen and, as the leading partner to the UK construction sector, we are ready to work in partnership with them to help deliver this vision.”
High resolution images from the report can be found here.
For further information, please contact:
James White / Genevieve Ryan / Nicholas Johnson
T: +44 78 5543 2699 / +44 79 0308 8779 / +44 20 3772 9864
Travis Perkins plc
Tel: 01604 592307
About the RMI Index
- Since 2012, Travis Perkins has regularly surveyed the UK’s tradespeople to gauge their expectations around materials purchasing and expected workloads.
- Respondents were asked about expected workloads and material purchases over the next two months, which industries they see their work coming from and where they are based, the size of their workforce and Brexit.
- The survey was conducted in March 2022 and the results are based on the responses from over 1,500 respondents.
- Respondents represent a significant cross section of the UK market, spanning a wide variety of company sizes, from sole traders through to companies employing up to 100 staff.
- The majority of respondents (56%) are sole traders with 79% of all responses coming from firms employing between 1-3 people.
About Travis Perkins plc
Travis Perkins is the UK's leading distributor of building materials to trade customers and has the ambition to be the leading partner to the construction industry. The Group operates market leading businesses, including Travis Perkins Builders’ Merchants, Toolstation and a number of specialists in the civils market (Keyline), heating and ventilation (BSS) and drylining and insulation (CCF), and many more. With annual revenues of £4.6bn, the Group employs over 20,000 colleagues across the UK, but also in France and Benelux through Toolstation. The company has a proud heritage that spans over 200 years.
For more information, please visit www.travisperkinsplc.co.uk