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Five large-scale ‘green’ home renovations

A cardboard house, tree and the words 'eco' placed on grass

Building and maintaining ‘greener’ homes is an essential part of taking care of the planet for a more sustainable future.

As demonstrated by the Government’s £3 billion green investment package designed to crack down on climate change and help the UK meet an ambitious ‘net zero’ in carbon emissions by 2050, initiatives are being explored to encourage homeowners to ‘do up’ their homes and undertake green renovations.

For example, the Green Homes Grant (due to launch in September 2020) will provide homeowners with vouchers of up to £5,000 to pay for energy-saving home improvements – at least two-thirds of the cost of an upgrade to features such as a new boiler or windows.

Five large-scale home renovations you can make for a more energy-efficient home

By undertaking at least one large-scale energy efficient improvement to your home, you'll be protecting the environment and leading the way to a more sustainable future for generations to come.

If you’re worried about funding, don’t be! We’re here to help support your green choices with our GoGreen further advance mortgage for existing borrowers who would like to take additional borrowing to help fund any of the home improvements listed (and others!) below. Find out more here.

Upgrade your insulation

Upgrading low performing insulation is essential for a successful eco-renovation project to restrict the amount of heat loss through walls, floors and roofs. Otherwise any other improvements you make will become redundant.

Whereas insulating loft or cavity walls can be relatively simple, solid walls can be trickier, therefore, it is always recommended to contact a professional registered with the National Insulation Association for guidance – especially if you live in a period property which requires further considerations to be taken.

Check your windows

Did you know 10% of our home’s energy is lost through windows? Make sure yours is up to scratch and replace any single-glazed windows with double (or even triple) glazed versions to slow heat transfer.

If you want to take it a step further, many suppliers offer specific eco-friendly products with special finishes such as low e-coatings and inert gas fillings to improve heat retention further.

Go solar

If you’re looking for ways to make you home more sustainable, you’ve likely thought about solar panels as it generates natural energy from our most powerful resource - the sun. Solar energy is a great way to cut your carbon footprint as it doesn’t release harmful gasses into the atmosphere.

As solar energy is renewable and sunlight is free, once you’ve paid for the initial installation fee your electricity costs will start to reduce. Find out how much you could save by using this online Solar Energy Calculator.

The cost of solar panels in the UK can vary from £5,000 to excess of £10,000, and make sure you talk to a registered surveyor who can offer further guidance on your homes suitability to hold solar panels.

Consider a renewable heating system

Believe it or not, renewable heating systems are a thing! Let’s focus on one: ground-source heat pumps.

In basic terms, ground-source heat pumps extract heat from the earth, a few metres below the surface, and turns it into useful energy. This energy can be used to run elements such as radiators, underfloor heating and hot water in your home.

Heat pumps, however, do have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run. Nevertheless, the heat extracted from the ground is constantly being renewed naturally.

By implementing such a system, you could also earn a small income and receive quarterly cash payments through the government’s domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme designed to encourage uptake of cleaner heat technologies amongst households.

The cost of installing a typical system is around £14,000 to £19,000. You can find further information about renewable heating and cost implications on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Invest in underfloor heating

If you’re pulling up floors as part of your renovation project, it’s worth considering laying underfloor heating.

Not only for fancy hotels and the elite, the system operates slightly warmer than the room air temperature by circulating heated water through a network of pipes. Underfloor heating essentially turns the whole floor into one large radiator to ensure an even distribution of heat, and the low operating temperature means it can easily be linked to alternative heating sources such as heat pumps.

Costs can vary depending on the heating system you choose (electric or water), the size of the room you want heating and the age of your building. You can find further information regarding set up and running costs here.

If you'd like to talk to a qualified mortgage adviser about your options, contact us today.

*all figures and data correct as of August 2020

YOUR MORTGAGE IS SECURED ON YOUR HOME. THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGANST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

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Sian Dennis Senior Marketing and Communications Officer

Sian is responsible for the running of the Society's Press Office and PR strategy as well as the creation of external marketing collateral, digital copywriting, brand awareness and internal communications.

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