Why home energy efficiency improvements may be better value than you thought
Short-term solutions can negatively impact your quality of life. What we really need are long-term solutions that will make your home more energy efficient (and less costly to heat) in the long run.
Have you noticed higher energy bills this winter as you try to keep your home warm? If so, you’re not alone.
As the cost of energy rises, millions of people have turned to wearing extra layers, using door draught excluders and turning down the thermostat to keep their heating bills at a minimum.
But these are all short-term solutions that can negatively impact your quality of life. What we really need are long-term solutions that will make your home more energy efficient (and less costly to heat) in the long run.
Annual savings only
When it comes to making a home more energy efficient, a common thought process is: “In a perfect world, I’d insulate the whole place and get double-glazed windows. But the upfront cost is so expensive that it’ll take years until the savings make it worth doing.”
When framed that way, it’s not a very appealing thought. Based on this thought process, here’s an example of what the costs could look like in practice.1 We’ve used Snugg’s home energy efficiency planner to estimate costs and savings.
Paying over £13,000 for improvements that would take up to 39 years to pay for themselves isn’t going to be attractive to a large number of people.
But this calculation is missing a few things. And the difference could convince a lot more people to reconsider making those home improvements, after all.
Annual savings + increase in property value
It’s true that your energy bills will go down after you make energy efficiency improvements. Your home will be better at keeping in heat. But this is only part of the story.
In addition to reducing your energy bills, improvements like wall insulation, double glazing and solar panels can add thousands to the value of your home.
Snugg’s recent research looked at different types of homes in Edinburgh (read Edinburgh report) and Bristol (read Bristol report) to understand the impact of making each type of home more energy efficient.
We found that improving your home’s energy efficiency could increase its value by nearly £17,000. Details of the methodology can be found in the respective reports, linked above.
Here’s what that looks like for homes in Edinburgh…
And it’s a similar story in Bristol…
As well as making an annual saving on energy bills, the upfront investment doesn’t vanish into thin air. It goes into the value of your property!
Annual savings + increase in property value + lower carbon emissions
Another often-unconsidered benefit of investing in energy efficiency improvements is the reduction in the home’s carbon emissions.
21% of the UK’s CO2 emissions come from our homes, so making our homes more energy efficient could significantly benefit the planet.
Our report showed that implementing a tailored selection of energy efficiency improvements could save tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
In Edinburgh, homeowners could reduce emissions by nearly five tonnes a year.
And in Bristol…
If all homes in Bristol made their homes more energy efficient, the city could save 250,000 tonnes of carbon per year. That’s equivalent to the weight of all the cars in the city!
Would you consider making energy efficiency improvements now?
At the top of this article, we looked at the old way of thinking about home efficiency improvements: pay upfront and wait years for your investment to break even.
But as we’ve seen, there are other benefits that make the proposition far more attractive.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to making your home more energy efficient, consider the following:
- Upfront cost (don’t forget grants may be available!)
- Annual energy saving
- Property value increase
- Carbon emissions reduction
When you factor in all those benefits, you might find that the improvements more than justify the upfront cost.
That’s why it’s so crucial that we look at the full picture.
1 Based on Snugg’s assessment of a property in the area of EH9 1DH
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