According to a recent study by Southern Cross University in the United States, 77% of people want to learn how to live more sustainably.
But will making your home more eco-friendly boost the sale price and help you to sell your house fast when the time comes to move on?
Benefits of Making Your Home Greener
There are many benefits to “greening” your home, including the potential to add value.
Any measures you take to save a future owner money, for example, installing loft insulation to reduce heating bills, will add value. Likewise, improving the energy rating of your property or adding smart technology will make it more appealing to eco-conscious buyers. According to research by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), energy-saving improvements can increase the value of a property by up to 38% in some regions.
But boosting the sale price of your home is not the only reason to invest in eco-friendly upgrades. You’ll also enjoy these benefits:
- Cut the cost of your water and energy bills
- Green building materials are often more durable and require less maintenance
- Cheaper house insurance (due to higher energy efficiency)
- A more comfortable home — easier to keep warm and fewer draughts
- A healthier living environment — green products contain fewer chemicals
- Reduce your carbon footprint
“Green” homes are increasingly sought after, and if you want to sell your house fast, making your home more eco-friendly is a great way to boost its appeal to buyers.
How to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
So now that you’re convinced of the benefits of making your home greener, how do you accomplish this?
- Install a new boiler. The boiler accounts for around 60% of a UK household energy bill. Upgrading to a newer, more efficient model can make your home much more energy-efficient and save hundreds of pounds each year. If the boiler in your home is years old, it’s unlikely to meet the energy efficiency ratings set by SEDBUK (Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK). Green boilers are typically around 90% efficient; only 10% is wasted or “lost”. Many people live in houses with traditional heating systems that are very inefficient. A boiler that operates at just 60% efficiency wastes 40% of the energy it produces — that adds up to a lot of pounds on your energy bill!
- Invest in a solar panel system. You probably won’t be able to rely entirely on solar panels to heat and power your home, but a decent system will help to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and lower heating costs. Solar panels or photovoltaic systems (PV systems) convert sunlight into electricity which can be stored in a battery for use whenever needed. The system will provide clean, emission-free power helping you to reduce your carbon footprint. You can also earn money from solar panels by exporting any surplus electricity generated to the national grid. Under the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), energy companies will pay you for the energy you export (provided you meet their criteria). However, you should do your research before investing. If you lease rather than buy the panels this can make it difficult to remortgage or switch to a new lender. It can also make reselling problematic. You should also be clear on who is responsible for maintenance and repairs, what happens when the panels reach the end of their life and the impact on the value of your property.
- Install loft insulation. A well-insulated loft can save you hundreds of pounds every year. Around 25% of the heat produced by the boiler will escape through the roof. Adding loft insulation is an affordable way to stop this from happening and boost your home’s energy efficiency. Homeowners typically recoup the cost of insulation within two years by slashing their energy bills. Different types of insulation are available, depending on how you intend to use the loft and your budget.
This is not an exhaustive list but includes some of the most impactful improvements. You might also consider installing low-carbon heating, smart technology and underfloor heating to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
While these upgrades are not cheap, they will deliver cost savings long-term and may add significant value to your property. You can also get funding to help cover the cost of eco-friendly home improvements. In September last year, the government launched a Green Home Grants scheme. This provides homeowners with vouchers worth up to £10,000. The vouchers can be used to pay for energy-saving improvements such as loft insulation and double or triple glazing windows.
Making your home more eco-friendly will almost certainly make it more appealing to buyers and add value. You’ll also enjoy a range of benefits such as lower energy bills and a more comfortable living environment while you remain in the property.