Climate change appears on the news daily with melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels a constant worry for scientists and environmentalists. With this, the average Joe Public is becoming more and more energy conscious thus, the majority of UK buyers would pay more for an environmentally friendly property. It was found that making energy saving improvements to homes could increase values up to 38%.
Research has found that some 82% of home buyers, particularly the younger generation, in Britain would pay more for eco features at a time when housing alone generates almost a third of UK emissions at 29%. A green energy saving home is designed to environmentally friendly and sustainable with its underlying design focused on using as little water, building materials and energy resources as possible in order to minimise its impact on the environment.
The benefits of going green are endless and with the earth’s resources limited, we are currently using more energy than the earth can regenerate. Just last year, we used around 1.6 times the earth’s resources with the construction and running of the everyday home having a profound impact on the environment.
In many developed countries, household electricity use generally makes up about a third of total electricity consumption. Energy from fossil fuels consumed in the construction and operation of building accumulates for almost half of the UK’s emissions of carbon dioxide whilst 82% of the UK home’s 29% emission usage is used for space and water heating.
The first approach to building more sustainable homes would involve using materials and design to maximise the performance of a building, construction methods and materials should aim to maximise air tightness, make good use of natural light and solar gain, create high level of insulation and use the building’s thermal mass to advantage. This, alongside the consideration of the life cycle of materials and products used in the building and their impact on the environment is vitally important. In heavily built up urban areas, green roofs can form part of an effective sustainable drainage solution by reducing run-off at peak times as well as lessening the need for underground drainage at site boundary level.
Assessing the development of rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs for in home use will boost the usage of solar energy but even small scale home improvements affecting the fabric of a home can be one of the most effective methods of reducing energy consumption.
A total of 63% of home buyers want to purchase a green, environmentally friendly home, and 82% would be willing to pay more for a home that allows them to go green and reduce their carbon footprint. It was also found that over a quarter of buyers would pay at least a 6% premium for a home with sustainable features.
Furthermore, a recent UK report by the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed that making energy saving improvements to home could increase its value by as much as 38%.