While the women of Ireland are more environmentally friendly than their male counterparts (93% of women compared to 86% of men), a recent national survey shows that men are significantly more aware of household energy efficiency schemes.
In a survey of 500 people across Ireland, conducted independently by a research agency on behalf of the Bord Gais Energy Home Team services, 62% of male respondents declared familiarity with energy efficiency schemes compared to 46% of female respondents.
It seems that men and women are also motivated by different factors when it comes to making their homes more energy efficient. Females again came out stronger on the environmental awareness side, with half of all female respondents (50%) saying it would be to ‘reduce my carbon footprint’ compared to 40% of males choosing this same factor. 74% of men, by contrast, said that they would have a home energy audit or service carried out to save costs in the long run.
If they thought it would save energy in their home this winter, nearly three quarters of the respondents (73%) said they would consider availing of home insulation, with a quarter (24%) saying they would be willing to spend up to Eur2000 on top of the government grants available to them. An additional 38% would be willing to spend between Eur500 and Eur1000.
“The results of this in-depth survey have produced some really interesting findings, particularly in regard to levels of awareness and good intentions compared to numbers actually acting on this and reaping the benefits,” points out Mark Prentice, head of Retail at Bord Gais Energy.
He continues: “Men in particular are highly aware of the advantages of an energy efficient home and women share environmental concerns. But despite predictions of another cold winter ahead, two in every five people surveyed (43%) feel their homes are currently poorly insulated to deal with such harsh weather. Those living in urban areas were more concerned with every second respondent (54%) feeling their home does not have proper insulation, compared to rural areas where 31% are of the same opinion.”
Poor roof and cavity wall insulation were cited as the main reason people believe their home to be poorly insulated and in fact these are two really simple and straightforward improvements. When asked how likely they would be to avail of an energy efficiency scheme over the next 12 months, over half (56%) said this was likely.