It used to be that the primary focus when building homes would be cost and design. Energy efficiency and sustainability took a back seat. However, thanks in part to rising energy costs and tumultuous economic times, home improvement strategists have now looked towards energy efficiency and sustainability to solve problems.
From lighting options to insulation, let us look into the many factors that may or may not link energy efficiency and your home’s value. Also, will this cost you a lot?
Ways to make your home energy-efficient and the costs
Here are a few ways to make your home more energy-efficient.
Seal and insulate your home
Insulating your home will always be a good idea and there are many areas you can apply these methods. Some of which are your:
- Solid wall
- Wall cavity
- Loft and roof
- Doors and windows
- Pipes, radiators, and tanks
In terms of cost, this heavily depends on how much insulation your home needs and the type of insulation you choose to do. Living walls, for example, are good home insulators. However, the cost of putting them up and maintaining them will depend on if you choose to use Direct Greening, Indirect Greening, or Living Wall Systems. The cost can range anywhere from a negligible amount to a few hundred pounds.
If you do choose to put up a living wall, make sure to research the pros and cons of having one, plant choice, and if you can maintain the living wall in the long run. It isn’t uncommon, especially for newer gardeners, to choose the wrong type of plant. If the plants cannot survive in the conditions of your garden wall, then they will eventually wither, and you will have wasted your money. Knowing what to expect beforehand will save you from a lot of mishaps and unmet expectations.
Install efficient showerheads and toilets
Water and energy-efficient showerheads and toilets reduce the need to use more water when utilising them. Thus, by lowering your carbon footprint, it makes your home more energy-efficient.
A typical showerhead has a 2.5 gallons per minute flow rate. Because modern showerheads are exceptional at maintaining pressure, it can cut that amount by at least half while still getting the job done. Also, modern showerheads typically do not cost a lot of money. Shop around your local hardware store and online platforms, and you’ll easily come across inexpensive options.
Replace incandescent lights with LEDs
LEDs or Light-emitting diodes are widely considered to be a low-energy lighting (LEL) solution for homes and buildings. The only drawback is that the upfront cost of buying LEDs is typically much higher than buying incandescents. However, LEDs have been proven to last longer and are at least 75% more energy-efficient.
Since it uses a lot less power than its counterparts, they cut your energy bill by a considerable amount, thus saving you more money than when buying the cheaper incandescent lights.
Apply daylighting methods as an alternative to electrical lighting
There are quite a few ways to go about this. Here are two conventional daylighting methods:
- Having light shelves
- These are passive devices designed to bounce light around. This makes it possible to have a natural light source deep into a home or building. Light shelves can be exterior or interior.
- Clerestory windows
- Clerestory windows are either one large window and an array of short, wide windows. They are set near the ceiling or at least high above on a wall.
How are homes being valued these days?
Many factors go into valuing a home accurately. A home’s value is estimated at price-per-square-foot and its age, however, those aren’t the only factors to look at.
Over time, land value appreciates as the world population increases; however, the value of the property’s physical structure (houses, apartments, buildings) can depreciate if not maintained well. This is why savvy investors tend to look past the aesthetics of a home. Instead, they focus more on its location and assess whether the land has the potential to appreciate despite the degradation of its physical structures.
Thus, homes are valued better if its potential to appreciate outweighs its inevitable degradation. Also, appraisers tend to consider if the location has employment opportunities around, if it is close to entertainment options, shopping centres and recreational venues, and if it has high-quality schools nearby.
Other than these, another crucial factor to consider is your home’s EPC rating, which directly affects your house’s value. But what is an EPC?
Is there a solid link between energy efficiency and your home’s value?
YES, there is. Let’s get to know the EPC or Energy Performance Certificate.
In short, EPC’s are much like a sticker on new appliances in the way that they provide information on how energy-efficient a home or building is. It provides a rating from A to G. Thus, a higher rating allows sellers to price their home’s value higher when selling their home. An EPC will show you two main things, the Energy Efficiency Rating and the Environmental Impact Rating. Both will be scored based on this rating system:
- A rating = 92-100 SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) points (highly efficient)
- B rating = 81-91 SAP points
- C rating = 69-80 SAP points
- D rating = 55-68 SAP points
- E rating = 39-54 SAP points
- F rating = 21-38 SAP points
- G rating = 1-20 SAP points (highly inefficient)
This detailed report also discusses suggestions and ways the home can improve over time. It also tells its readers about the property’s potential to appreciate or depreciate in the coming years. It is a legal requirement to have an EPC when selling your home. Thus, to home buyers in the UK, this is essential to look at before purchasing the desired home. EPC’s validity lasts for ten years upon issuance.
How do you get a high EPC rating?
By now, we know that a high EPC rating increases the home’s market value. Thus, aiming for a high mark is crucial. By installing home insulation, using energy-efficient lighting systems, having double-glazed windows, and utilising photovoltaic solar cells (solar PV), you can get the high mark. Make sure to educate yourself on these methods and apply them properly as well.
From all these, we can conclude that the name of the game is energy efficiency. The more you are conscious about energy saving and insulation methods and technologies, the higher the rating you can expect from the report.
Is your home energy-efficient?
Whether you’re looking to sell your home or to live in it for the next decade, getting used to good habits that lead to energy efficiency will never be wasted effort. Also, home insulation and the other methods discussed in this article will make living in your home more comfortable than ever before.
It’s good to expect the upfront costs; however, don’t let that get you down. The long-term benefits far outweigh the initial strike against your wallet. If you find that you cannot apply the methods alone, there is no shame in contacting professionals to do the work for you. In fact, we can easily recommend this option because it saves you a lot of time and potential mishaps and headaches.