£2,524: The estimated cost of ‘heart-over-head’ home-hunting revealed

  • Brits estimate that overlooking energy efficiency when house hunting costs them £2,5241
  • The feel of a house is more important for home hunters than the likelihood of flooding or the amount of improvement work required
  • E.ON Homebuyer’s Guide’ launched to help people better understand a property’s energy improvement requirements and potential savings

New research from E.ON2 reveals the cost of making ‘heart-over-head’ decisions when it comes to house hunting, with Brits estimating they spend on average £2,524 to improve the energy efficiency of a property once it’s theirs1.

The research, conducted among 2,000 people who’ve bought their home within the last five years, also shows that we’re more concerned about the feel of a house (36%) than its likelihood of flooding (30%) or the amount of improvement work required (22%).

One in three say they place little importance on energy efficiency measures like the central heating system (34%), double glazing (33%), or the energy efficiency rating (31%) when looking around a property for the first time.

Two thirds (68%) say they hadn’t budgeted for making improvements, and one in three (31%) say they may not have bought the property had they known the cost of making it more energy efficient. One in ten (11%) also said they’d received higher energy bills than they’d anticipated within six months of moving in.

To help people understand more about energy efficiency, what to look out for during property viewings and what could cost them further down the line, E.ON is today launching its brand new online interactive tool – the E.ON Homebuyer’s Guide. The guide is designed to be used alongside the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to help people get a fuller picture of a property’s energy pitfalls and potential.

While the EPC remains an important assessment of a property’s energy efficiency, E.ON’s research highlights that many home hunters aren’t reaping the benefits of its property-specific recommendations.

Two thirds (62%) of people surveyed say they didn’t act on any of the recommendations made in their EPC. One fifth of this group (22%) cited the fact that they didn’t understand the recommendations or didn’t read them. One in 20 (5%) said they didn’t know what an EPC is.

The figures also show that many buyers significantly overestimate the cost of some property upgrades. For instance, when asked about the price of having cavity walls insulated, respondents estimate the total cost to be £975 on average – almost twice the typical cost of £5003.  A similar picture emerges for secondary glazing, with home hunters expecting to pay £648 on average per secondary glazed window: more than six times the typical cost of £1004.

David Bird, Managing Director of E.ON’s Residential business, said: “For most people, property is the biggest financial purchase we make. While it’s only natural to get drawn in by aesthetics, it’s important to think about the potential costs of running and improving the property too.

“EPCs give home hunters a good idea about this – but our research shows that people don’t always refer to or understand the property’s EPC. That’s why we’ve launched the ‘E.ON Homebuyer’s Guide’– a new, easy to understand tool that home hunters can use via their mobile phone or tablet as they go on property viewings.

“The tool prompts people to think about a variety of areas, from windows, heating, boilers and even a property’s orientation, and gives an indication of how much these areas would cost to improve and potential savings that could be made. People can easily save the information that’s relevant for a particular property and refer back to it later while making the decision about whether to put forward an offer.

“Looking for a new home can be a stressful time and we hope our new Homebuyer’s Guide will help take some of the guesswork out of the equation.”

The E.ON Homebuyer’s Guide is available at eonenergy.com/homebuyers


Notes to Editors:

  1. Based on research conducted by OnePoll in March 2016 among 2,000 adults (UK homeowners who bought their house in the last 5 years) across the UK. Respondents were asked to estimate how much they spent on improving their current home’s energy efficiency;
  2. Based on research conducted by OnePoll in March 2016 among 2,000 adults (UK homeowners who bought their house in the last 5 years) across the UK. Further details about sample and data available on request;
  3. £500 figure sourced from E.ON’s Saving Energy Toolkit;
  4. £100 figure sourced from E.ON’s Saving Energy Toolkit.


The following table shows the relative importance of various factors when people were looking around a new property for the first time:

Aspect of property 

% rating this as important

Location/being in a good area


Structural soundness


Absence of damp


Number of bedrooms


Feel of the home


Likelihood of flooding


Improvement work required


Good energy efficiency rating


Loft insulation or cavity wall insulation






Period features


The Council Tax band




About the E.ON Homebuyer’s Guide

The E.ON Homebuyer’s Guide is an interactive property exploration tool, designed to help home hunters understand what may impact a property’s energy use and bill. The guide covers ten aspects of a property: walls, windows, fires, heating, appliances, boilers, draughts, hot water, lofts and smart thermostats. The guide provides figures for improvement costs and potential savings where possible. The E.ON Homebuyer’s Guide is available from the E.ON website at eonenergy.com/homebuyers

For more information contact:

Jag Bickham: 02476 181 308 / jag.bickham@eon-uk.com

The information (including any forecasts or projections) contained in this press release (the "Information") reflects the views and opinions of E.ON on the date of this press release.  The Information is intended as a guide only and nothing contained within this press release is to be taken, or relied upon, as advice.  E.ON makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about any of the Information (including, without limitation, any as to its quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose) and E.ON accepts no liability whatsoever for any action or omission taken by you in relation to the Information. Any reliance you place on the Information is solely at your own risk.  This press release is the property of E.ON and you may not copy, modify, publish, repost or distribute it. © E.ON 2016

Published by JaneBranscombe