Written by Hugh Metcalf

4 ideas for financing energy efficient home improvements

According to new research, energy efficient features are the biggest selling point of a home. Here’s how you could help finance improvements..

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Image: Fraser Marr for Good Homes

The key features that potential home buyers are looking for has shifted in recent times, and a new study from E.ON energy has found that sustainable solutions now outweigh all other features in importance for the average buyer.

According to its research, 89% of prospective homeowners have become more interested in finding homes with sustainable solutions – eclipsing the want for a garden (80%), en-suite bathroom (50%) and walk-in wardrobe (27%).

So what’s changed? “[People] have spent more time at home than ever before and have inevitably become more aware of how they’re using energy and of sustainable changes they can make,” suggests broadcaster and architectural designer Charlie Luxton.

In the survey, 49% of people said that spending more time at home has lead them to wanting a more sustainable property, with both saving on energy ills and reducing their impact on the planet both in mind.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or make improvements where you are, we’ve rounded up some ideas for financing improvements from better energy efficient boilers to installing solar panels.

Stamp duty savings

Earlier this year, the Government announced a stamp duty relief on home purchases up to £500,000, which can represent a significant saving during the home buying process. 78% of respondents to E.ON’s survey said that they’d use these savings to help invest in sustainable and energy efficient improvements for their new homes.

Read more: Green Homes Grant: a guide to loft insulation

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Green Homes Grant

Another flagship scheme from the Government this year, the Green Homes Grant offers vouchers up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements, including everything from insulation to solar panels and heat pumps. While anyone who owns a home that requires improvements in England, whether homeowner or landlord, meets eligibility, you’ll need to contribute a third of the cost of the work, unless you are in receipt of certain Government benefits, which may see you eligible for £10,000 with no requirement to contribute financially.

Read more: What is the Green Homes Grant?

Renewable Heat Incentive 

If you’re looking to transition your home to a renewable heating system, the Renewable Heat Incentive offers you an opportunity to claim quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat it’s estimated your system produces to help offset the cost. While you can claim retroactively if you retain receipts of the cost of installation and the system itself, you’ll need to make sure the system you do choose qualifies for the scheme.

E.ON Sustainable Home Infographic High Resolution

Image: E.ON

Make quick energy saving wins

“The key tip I would give to anyone looking to make their home more sustainable is to first take a look at the basics such as correctly insulating your home and upgrading to energy efficient appliances, as these changes can be easily implemented,” says Charlie Luxton. However, while awaiting your work, there are simple changes you can make at home that can help save money on your energy bills to put towards these home improvements.

The Simple Energy Advice website has the following tips:

  • Switch to energy saving lightbulbs such as LEDs or CFLs
  • Don’t leave appliances on standby
  • Buy a smart thermostat
  • Turn down your thermostat a few degrees.
  • Switch to a smart meter
  • Wash your clothes on a lower temperature setting
  • Make the most of warm weather by drying your clothes outside
  • Make sure your dishwater is completely full before running it

 

Are you reconsidering your home’s energy efficiency? Let us know! Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page

 

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