Four ways to improve your home’s green credentials

The UK’s housing is some of the oldest and most poorly insulated in Europe, so it comes as no surprise that research from the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says that around £250 billion will need to be invested by 2050 to bring homes up to date.

Inspired by a global focus on climate change, a handful of banks and building societies, including Newbury Building Society, are now offering green mortgage products to help people create more sustainable, environmentally friendly homes fit for the future. 

Green home improvements aren’t just good for the planet, they can also be good for your bank balance; helping you to improve energy efficiency and cut bills. If you’re wondering how to reduce the carbon footprint of your home, here are four ideas:

1. Upgrade your insulation

The insulation in your walls, floors, and roof is an excellent place to start, particularly because without upgrading poor insulation, you’re unlikely to see the benefit of more costly improvements. 

Most homes built since the 1990s have insulated walls, but this often isn’t the case in older homes. Luckily, cavity wall insulation is often straightforward to install (seeking a registered installer through the National Insulation Association is always recommended), and with a third of heat lost through external walls, should help to keep your home cosy. 

2. Don’t glaze over the importance of windows and doors

Replacing any single glazing with double (or even triple) glazing can be a big help in keeping your home warm. Similarly, any external doors can be replaced to prevent heat escape, with modern designs containing integrated insulation. If you want to go further, some suppliers offer eco-friendly products with special finishes such as inert gas fillings.

3. Harness the sun

As one of the most visible green property updates, you may have considered making the most of the sun by installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Systems connect to your electricity supply and can be used to power appliances in your home.

There are also solar water heating systems available, which you could use to heat water for those bubble baths. Solar thermal systems are unlikely to provide 100% of your hot water supply, but the Energy Saving Trust estimates that a good system should provide around 90% in the summer, and 25% in the winter. 

4. Renewable heating systems

With conversations about energy bills rumbling on, it’s no shock that many people are considering a renewable heating system. Let’s focus on one option: heat pumps.

Two choices are air-to-water and ground-to-water heat pumps, with installation costs ranging between £7,000 and £19,000. Heat pumps use electricity but are considered efficient because the amount of heat produced is more than the electricity needed to power them. Some suppliers also offer renewable electricity tariffs, so you can ensure the energy for your heating comes from 100% renewable sources.

Some green updates can be expensive, and that’s where our GoGreen products come in. Whether you want to up the green credentials of your current home or build your own eco-friendly house, Newbury Building Society can help. 

  • For our existing mortgage members, our GoGreen Further Advance Mortgage is designed to help you make energy efficient home improvements.

  • For those considering creating their own eco-friendly home, our GoGreen Self-Build Reward is available on our current self-build mortgage and is designed to encourage the incorporation of energy efficient features into the design of your home.

If you would like to talk to us about our GoGreen Further Advance Mortgage or GoGreen Self-Build Reward, you can arrange an appointment to discuss by video, in a local branch or by telephone. 

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

Luke Pummell Direct Sales Manager

Luke is responsible for the direct customer sales through our branch network and online services.

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