Green Living: Eco-friendly households to spend £13bn

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The Independent Online

The British public plans to fork out more than £13bn to make their homes greener in 2008, with over two-thirds claiming they have already taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint in the past year, the Co-operative Bank has found.

The average UK household expects to spend £551.75 on environmentally friendly home improvements. These include switching to energy-saving light bulbs (60 per cent of those questioned by the bank's researchers), adding loft and cavity wall insulation (40 per cent) and installing double glazing (25 per cent).

However, the research shows that some of us are planning less conventional measures. Initiatives that used to be rare are now more mainstream, with one in 10 (11 per cent) intending to install rainwater capture systems. Adding solar panels was an idea being considered by 7 per cent of the people surveyed.

The "greenest" part of the UK is Wales, where 75 per cent of respondents have taken steps to make their homes greener, followed by East Anglia (74 per cent) and the East Midlands (73 per cent). But even in the lowest-scoring regions – Northern Ireland and the South-west – 65 per cent are going green.

"People are really starting to sit up and take notice of green issues in relation to their homes," said John Barker, head of mortgages at the Co-op.