When you’re thinking of moving house, how important will green features be in your decision making, as to which new home you buy?
Will green / renewable features figure at all in your choice? Or will the energy efficiency of your intended new home sway your decision?
They say you very often instinctively know when you’ve found THE home for you, but hold on to your heart just a few moments and stop to consider the properties green credentials.
We’re talking insulation – roof and walls, energy efficiency of any built in appliances, the control you’ll have over the heating system and hot water, draught exclusion (including double glazing) and finally, the condition of any renewables systems like solar panels (or the potential for having solar panels etc. fitted when you own the property).
Does it face South, are there any overhanging trees or other obstructions that might interfere with a solar panel installation? Is there enough garden/grounds to install a ground source heat pump?
I know it’s easy to get carried away but a few moments considering all your options and the opportunities for installing / increasing renewable energy sources, could well pay you dividends in the long term.
It’s easy enough to change light fittings and bulbs to energy efficient ones and add extra insulation to lofts, walls and water tanks.
Double glazing isn’t usually a problem (unless the property is listed) and heating systems can be upgraded or replaced.
Larger projects like solar panels will require certain criteria to be a success – location, roof direction and roof space. Ground source heat pumps require fairly large gardens / plots of land to be of any benefit.
And if your intended purchase already has solar panels fitted, check whether they were fitted as part of a free-installation type deal. Who gets the Government’s feed-in tariff money? Is it you (as the new owner) or some investment company to whom you only rent the roof out to.
Check the age and condition of the panels and be prepared to call in an expert if you don’t think they’re generating the levels of energy they should be. In such cases, a proper survey is probably a very good idea before you part with your money.
photo credit: diana parkhouse