There is no denying that concern for the environment is at an all-time high in the UK and beyond. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, about 75% of UK adults are worried about climate change’s impact. Many eco-conscious consumers are taking practical steps to demonstrate their concern for the environment, like reducing the amount of meat they eat and buying more local produce. In addition, many homebuyers are more environmentally aware than past generations and insist on purchasing sustainable homes. Here are some tips to guide you on your home search as an eco-conscious buyer.
Ask for the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Sellers must provide home buyers with an up-to-date EPC issued by an accredited domestic energy assessor during the selling process. As such, many property sites will make this readily available, but don’t hesitate to ask the estate agent if you don’t receive one. The EPC is a document ranking the property on a scale of A to G with regard to energy efficiency. Properties ranked A are highly efficient and ideally the ones you should search for, but they are in short supply; research shows less than 40,000 homes in England have this rating. Therefore, finding homes with B and C EPC ratings, so you should look for them. It would be best to avoid any homes rated D-F since these have the poorest energy efficiency.
Consider loft insulation
Insulation is one of the best ways to make a home more energy-efficient. Therefore, check whether your dream property has an insulated loft before making a purchase. Properties with loft insulation may cost more upfront due to their high energy efficiency. Nevertheless, you will recoup your extra investment through energy savings, so it is worth it. Also, ask about the insulation material’s impact on the environment to guide your buying decision. For example, a home containing Knauf loft roll, made from glass mineral wool, is highly sustainable. As such, it is a better choice than a property with spray foam insulation, which is less environmentally friendly.
Check for solar panels and other renewable energy technology
The UK government’s 2020 report estimates that 970,000 homes have solar panel installations. Solar panels and other renewable energy technologies are more sustainable and typically cheaper ways to heat and power your home. They can be expensive to fix, especially after the government ceased giving interest free-loans and grants for their installation after the Green Deal ended in 2015. However, they are relatively cheaper to run, although you will need to budget for maintenance costs. Still, you will benefit from significantly lower energy bills; experts say you can cut your electricity bills in half and save up to £748 with solar panels. Consequently, prioritise homes with these panels or some other type of renewable energy technology during your search.
Favour homes with double or triple glazing
Double and triple glazing has many benefits, including sound insulation and security. They also help with cost savings, minimising heat loss, and boosting overall thermal efficiency. As expected, triple glazing is more energy-efficient than double glazing. However, it is less popular and more expensive to install. Therefore, ensure that your preferred home’s windows have double glazing at the very least, but make triple glazing your priority.