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Perhaps “going green” is not high up on your agenda right now, especially if the pandemic has created financial difficulties such as a drop in income or redundancy. But making your home more sustainable can save you hundreds or even thousands of pounds every year. Here’s how you can save money by making your home more eco-friendly.
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Save Money By Making Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Most of us have spent more time at home during the past year than ever before due to COVID-19 and government-imposed restrictions on our movements. This has given us time to reflect and reassess our values and priorities in life.
Research by E.ON Energy has revealed that 89% of buyers want sustainable homes. The government has recently developed a Future Homes Standard, making it mandatory for all new homes to be “zero-carbon-ready” from around 2025.
Add Value to Your Home for Free
Home improvements are often time-consuming and expensive. However, they can improve your quality of life and, when the time comes to move on, it will be easier to get a quick house sale if you have a well-maintained property with the latest must-have features. So, investing in changes that make your property more environmentally friendly could save you money in the long run. You’ll probably find a buyer faster and they will probably be willing to pay more for your home.
Even better if you can add eco-features to your home for free, right? In England, the government offers a Green Homes Grant for homeowners who want to make energy-efficient improvements to their property. You could be eligible for a voucher worth up to £5,000. This can be used towards the cost — or to cover the total price if you’re on certain benefits — of improvements such as insulation, installing low carbon heating, draught-proofing windows and doors, and more. This means that you could add significant value to your home for a minimal investment or possibly for free!
Improve the Insulation in Your Home
Making energy-efficiency improvements will help you to save money by cutting your energy bills. And one of the best ways to reduce the amount of energy wasted is to add or improve insulation.
There are several different ways to insulate your home. These include
- loft insulation,
- roof insulation,
- cavity or solid wall insulation and
- under-floor insulation.
According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), around one-third of all the heat lost in a home escapes through the walls, so improving insulation in this area can dramatically impact the energy efficiency of a property and the cost of heating it. The EST states that adding internal solid wall insulation to a semi-detached house could reduce energy bills by approximately £225 per year.
Upgrade to an Eco-Friendly Boiler
Replacing a traditional boiler with a modern, environmentally friendly one will reduce the overall cost of heating your home and help to reduce carbon emissions, so it’s a win: win.
Traditional boilers powered by fossil fuels are prone to leaking carbon monoxide and other waste gases that are dangerous to your health.Plus they contribute to air pollution. Installing a green boiler system is not a low-budget option, but it will save you money in the long run. And reduce your carbon footprint. There are two main types of eco boilers to choose from
- eco biomass boilers (powered by wood and other renewable organic materials) and
- eco condensing boilers (powered by gas or oil).
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels or “photovoltaic” systems are not suitable for every home. But if you have the space, they are an effective way to cut electricity bills. And reduce your carbon footprint.
While there are no grants for purchasing solar panels, there are several ways to recoup some of the installation cost. In addition to the savings you will make on your energy bill. The Smart Export Guarantee allows homeowners with solar panels to sell surplus energy back to the national grid. You can also claim a 5% VAT reduction for the cost of purchasing and installing solar panels. Finally, the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) allows eligible households to claim quarterly cash payments for seven years to contribute to the cost of installing and maintaining a renewable heating system. You can claim for biomass boilers, solar water heating and some heat pumps. The amount payable will depend on how much renewable energy your heating system produces.
Making your home more eco-friendly is not only good for the planet and your conscience, but it can also save you hundreds of pounds each year. What’s more, if you decide to sell your house, its enhanced eco-credentials will attract more buyers and potentially boost the sale price.