In today’s world, with an increasing focus on energy conservation and sustainability, it’s only natural that you’d want to bring a little eco-friendliness home with you. Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t need to upend your bank balance or seriously disrupt your home life. But what it can do is dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and save you serious coin.
Today, we’ll be exploring not only how to improve the energy efficiency of your home, but how to build up the funds to pay for that great green upgrade with a homeowner loan.
How energy efficient is your home?
Before you get ahead of yourself and start ripping out the plaster, start by giving your home an energy audit in its current state. Because you won’t know how much you’re saving if you have no limit test to work from. An energy audit will also help you to identify the areas where energy wastage is occurring and where you need to focus your attention.
You have a choice here, of course: Do it yourself or hire a professional energy auditor. There are plenty of resources online that will allow you to fumble through it yourself but if you’re serious about creating an energy efficient house, we’d recommend getting a pro to evaluate everything from your insulation to potential air leaks and your boiler. Plus, when using a pro, you’ll receive an updated Energy Performance Certificate that will help give you a clear baseline of your home’s current energy efficiency.
How to improve the energy efficiency of your home
By installing insulation in your wall cavities with fibreglass or foam you could significantly reduce the amount of heat lost. If tearing into your walls feels a step too far, you can always install external cladding instead. Adding extra insulation beneath your floorboards or mounting insulation panels on the floor can also help heat from escaping.
New doors and windows
Old, windy doors and windows can be major culprits when it comes to heat loss, particularly in Victorian homes without double glazing. Consider upgrading to more energy-efficient alternatives with double or even triple glazing and installing additional weatherstripping and draught proofing to seal any leaks.
Transitioning to low-carbon heating systems like ground or air source heat pumps that draw heat from outdoors can drastically reduce your carbon emissions. If you’re not quite ready to install a massive fan in your garden, alternatively, you could replace your old boiler with a modern condensing boiler for improved efficiency and lower costs.
Energy-saving light bulbs
If you’re still relying on traditional incandescent light bulbs, you could be wasting up to 90% of your energy. Make the switch to more efficient alternatives like LED or CFL bulbs that not only last longer and look more modern but use far less power. Some bulbs can give you greater flexibilty by controlling and timing them through your mobile phone or smart devices.
Installing solar panels on your roof will allow you to generate clean, renewable energy to supplement your power needs. Best of all, you should be able to sell back any power you don’t use to the grid.
How can a homeowner loan help you achieve long-term savings on your energy bills?
While it might not set you back quite as much as a full renovation, giving your home an energy efficient makeover isn’t going to come cheap and will require at least some upfront investment. If you have limited disposable funds to get started, a homeowner loan could be the answer, as they generally offer very reasonable and favourable repayment terms and interest rates.
Also known as home improvement or “green” loans, they are specifically designed to fund home renovation projects that reduce your carbon footprint and lead to long-term savings on energy bills. A homeowner loan could cover all costs associated with your green investment, including materials and labour.
A homeowner loan allows you to borrow the necessary funds for any upfront investment without depleting your savings, frustrating your family members, or disrupting your daily expenses. That way, you can plan all your improvements and upgrade your home’s energy efficiency, whilst potentially increasing the value of your home.
Increased property value
While the loan might feel like an initial financial outlay, energy-efficient upgrades will almost certainly increase the value of your property. Energy-efficient homes are highly sought after by not only environmentally conscious buyers, who are willing to pay a premium for homes with lower energy costs, but those who want to cut costs on their bills.
The home upgrade grant (otherwise known as “Help to Heat”) is a £12 billion scheme created by the UK government that offers grants to homeowners looking to install low carbon heating systems like heat pumps. You can apply for the scheme online through the official UK government website, but it won’t cover the whole cost so you may still require a loan to make up the remainder.
Reduced maintenance and replacement costs
Energy-efficient upgrades are more advanced than older alternatives so generally have longer lifespans and lower maintenance requirements. More modern boilers, for example, are designed to be more durable and reliable, resulting in fewer repair or replacement costs over time.
And, of course, by reducing your energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels, your home is contributing to the increasingly important global fight against climate change and helping to heal and protect the planet for future generations.
It’s important to note, of course, that while a secured homeowner loan can provide the financial means to make energy-saving upgrades, you must always consider the long-term cost-effectiveness of all potential upgrades. A great way to figure out where to spend your time and money is to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis and use the results to prioritise the upgrades that will provide the greatest gains.
Taking out a secured loan to make your home more energy efficient
Energy efficient homes are a win-win for both your wallet and the environment, and a secured homeowner loan could be the ideal financial solution when it comes to making that dream a reality.
However, it’s important to carefully consider your budget and options before applying, as with any secured loan, the lender will generally be using your home as collateral.
Get in touch with us at Pepper Money today to learn more.