A growing number of buyers are prioritising eco-features when looking for a new home.
Many of us spent more time at home during the past year due to COVID-19 and the government imposed restrictions on our movement. These periods of lockdown gave us the opportunity to reassess how we live and to think about what’s most important to us when creating a home.
Recent research by E.ON Energy found that 89% of buyers want sustainable homes and more than half of this group pointed to lockdown as the trigger for their new “green” conscience. Around 78% of the people surveyed planned to use the savings they made from the stamp duty land tax holiday to add eco features to their homes.
So whether you’re hoping to sell your house or you want to do your bit for the planet while reducing household bills, what can you do to make your home more eco-friendly?
- Improve the Insulation in Your Home
Reducing the amount of heat that escapes your home will lower your consumption of fossil fuels and cut your heating bills.
There are various ways to insulate a house, depending on the type of property and the budget available — even popping draught excluders by doors can help. If you have the funds, the Energy Saving Trust recommends cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, floor insulation, roof and loft insulation, draught-proofing and double or triple-glazing windows and doors. Making your home easier and more affordable to heat could help you to sell your house fast. Or, if you’re planning on staying put, you’ll probably recoup your investment over the years to come.
- Choose a Green Energy Supplier
There’s only so much you can do to reduce the impact of your home on the environment — unless you have the inclination and budget to build a fully sustainable property off-grid.
Switching to an energy supplier that uses renewables instead of fossil fuels is one of the best ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Long gone are the days when we had only one or two providers to choose from. The energy market has grown exponentially, and consumers now have a diverse range of suppliers to choose from.
Signing up with a green energy supplier is not only better for the environment but can also save you money on energy bills. Many of these companies are smaller companies too, which generally means better customer service. Bulb, one of the UK’s most popular green energy suppliers, claims that its customers shrink their carbon footprint by an average of 3.2 tonnes of CO2e per year.
- Use Natural Home Products
This is a simple, low-budget way to boost your home’s green rating. By switching to brands that use plant-based and mineral ingredients or using natural remedies, you’ll be helping to protect our water supply — and your body! — from harmful chemicals.
A quick Google search will reveal hundreds of natural remedies for cleaning your home, enhancing your beauty regime and managing minor health ailments. There is also a growing number of eco-friendly brands that do not contain harmful chemicals. The price tag may be a little higher than for other brands and own-brand labels, but you’ll know exactly what you’re putting on your skin and around your home. Plus, you can feel smug about being an eco-warrior.
This one may seem like a bit of a no-brainer — everyone recycles, right? Sadly no. Only 45.5% of households in the UK recycle their waste regularly. Yet recycling is a crucial part of tackling climate change by saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s one of the easiest ways to make your home greener.
Take care to recycle “correctly”. That means separating household waste into the appropriate recycling receptacle. Non-recyclable items can cause equipment malfunctions and failures, which consumes considerable time and money to correct.
- Install Solar Panels
There are many small changes we can all make to minimise the impact of our homes on the environment. However, if you have the funds, installing solar panels is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint by heating and lighting your home with clean, emission-free power.
Solar panels or photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into electricity. But wait, I live in England or Wales, and sunshine is hardly plentiful, won’t I run out of power? Seek advice from a professional installer about how many panels you need for your property and your needs. The electricity generated can be stored in a battery for later use — so it accumulates during the day, ready for use after the sun has gone down. You can also sell any energy you don’t use to the national grid, so powering your home this way could actually earn you some extra income.
Making your home more eco-friendly can significantly reduce your energy bills and the impact that your household has on the environment. If you’re considering selling your home, eco-features will appeal to many potential buyers, and they could help you secure a quick house sale at a great price. Now that’s worth a little investment of time and money, right?