Norwich is top UK city for eco-friendly homes, claims study


Ahead of World Environment Day on 5th June, a new study from Rated People has revealed which cities are home to the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient properties. 

Norwich takes the top spot as the UK’s best place to live for the most energy-efficient properties, with Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and Edinburgh making up the rest of the top five. 

The findings are taken from this year’s Rated People Home Improvement Trends Report, where different UK cities were scored against a set of 20 ‘eco-home criteria’, ranging from how many homes have smart heating controls and energy-efficient lightbulbs to electric car charging points, smart meters and heat pumps. 

The top 17 places in the UK with the most eco-friendly homes (and each city’s eco-home score):

1. Norwich  15.1
2. Cardiff  15
3. Glasgow 14.9
4. Liverpool 14.5
5. Edinburgh 14.5
6. Nottingham 14.2
7. Southampton  13.8
8. Manchester 13.8
9. Belfast 13.8
10. Sheffield 13.7
11. Plymouth 13.7
12. Newcastle 13.2
13. London 13.1
14. Brighton 13.1
15. Leeds 12.9
16. Bristol 12.8
17. Birmingham 12.8

Each city scored points according to the percentage of homes that had eco upgrades to increase their energy efficiency or how eco-friendly they are – from standard eco improvements like double glazing and extra insulation to less common additions like biomass boilers and wind turbines. 

When looking at each city’s scores, with a total of 100 points on offer, the individual scores may seem low – this is because, alongside common measures like insulation and double glazing, the research also looked into how many homes have non-mainstream technologies, like heat pumps, biomass boilers and electric cars, which only a very small percentage of homes currently have.  

The research also discovered that demand for eco-friendly home improvement jobs increased by a massive 41% in the run-up to 2021 and more than half (57%) of UK residents said they wanted to find ways to be more eco-friendly in the future.

So, the report highlights the progress that’s already been made in the UK around living more sustainably, but it also shows there’s a strong appetite and lots of potential for more to be done – whether that’s making lifestyle changes or increasing the energy efficiency of our homes. 

  • Norwich has the most eco-friendly homes in the country, with Cardiff and Glasgow in second and third place
  • 35% of homes in Edinburgh have a smart meter – more than any other city 
  • Newcastle is the top city for biomass boilers, with 5% of properties fitted with one and for heat pumps, it’s Liverpool, with 5% of homes using the eco-friendly heating alternative
  • Demand for eco-friendly home improvement jobs has increased by 41% in the run-up to 2021 and 57% of UK residents want to be more eco-friendly in the future

Top Cities For Different Eco Home Upgrades

When looking at the individual eco improvements, homes in Glasgow are the most likely in the UK to be double glazed, with 72% of homes kitted out with this eco upgrade. Cardiff homes are top for extra insulation, with 38% having it installed – more than any other city. For smart meters, it’s Edinburgh, with 35% of homes having one, and for energy-efficient appliances, Sheffield comes out on top, with 21% of homes replacing older, less efficient models within the last five years. 

When it comes to less common ways to increase a home’s energy efficiency, Newcastle is the city with the highest percentage of homes to have biomass boilers, with 5% of properties fitted with one. For electric cars, it’s Belfast, with 6% of homes having one on the drive, and for heat pumps, it’s Liverpool, with 5% of homes using the eco-friendly heating alternative.  

Says Adrienne Minster, CEO at Rated People:  

“We often hear about the need to be kind to the planet and make eco-friendly choices. As well as lifestyle changes, one of the biggest ways we can have a positive impact is by making sure our homes are as eco-friendly and energy-efficient as possible. 

“That doesn’t mean we all need to build Grand Designs-style eco-homes though – there are lots of easy ways to increase your home’s eco-credentials without spending a fortune, like installing a smart meter, using smart heating controls or upgrading some of your appliances to more energy-efficient models when the time’s right.  

“Other energy-efficient home upgrades, like double glazing and extra insulation not only work to cut your carbon footprint, but they can also potentially shave thousands of pounds off your energy bill, so they’re great for the planet and good for your pocket!”

To see all the different eco criteria and how each city compares, visit:    

Chris Price
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