Our Complete Guide to Eco-Homes

The UK property market is plagued by high prices and a shortage of houses, but one type of home is becoming increasingly popular – eco-friendly homes. You may be wondering how that can be; surely with the current state of the property market, home buyers should be more pragmatic in their purchases, rather than worrying about solar powered water heating and high insulation windows?

However, while an eco-home may sound like a fancy, unaffordable luxury, it's as pragmatic as you can get. So if all you hear when someone says, “Solar-powered water heating,” is, “Solar expensive expensive expensive,” bear in mind solar power can meet around 70% of your hot water requirements, while high insulation windows can drastically cut your heating and lighting bills. All in all, eco-friendly houses are a massive cost-saving measure, as well as being environmentally friendly.

So, it should come as no surprise that 82 per cent of buyers are actively seeking the energy-saving benefits of eco-homes. In addition, a survey conducted by the Energy Saving Trust found that 53 per cent of buyers are willing to pay up to £3,350 extra for green features, despite the perception that many UK home buyers are limited by their budget.

Aside from energy-efficiency, here are two other reasons why the negativity pervading the UK home buyer market has done little to stem the rise of eco-homes.

Government support for eco-homes

Britain’s buildings are currently among the least energy-efficient in the world, and the government has introduced initiatives such as the Green Deal in an effort to rectify that. The Green Deal offers home owners the option of paying for energy-efficient improvements to their homes by reducing their energy bills. In other words, the money you save on your energy bill goes towards the price of the improvements.

There are 45 types of improvements available under the scheme and if you’re interested in any of them, a Green Deal assessor will visit your home and recommend the ones that best suit your situation. In addition to all this is the Green Deal Cashback Scheme, which rewards energy-efficient home owners with cash packages, some of which can reach over £1,000.

Government support for eco-homes has prompted private developers to instigate their own energy saving measures. An example would be award winning property company Roy Williamson, which recently put 22 eco-friendly homes up for sale on the River Tud. With both public and private initiatives being introduced to help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets, eco-homes are only going to rise in prominence.

Eco-homes are better maintained

Modern homes are generally in better condition than older rundown properties that are responsible for a large proportion of the UK's carbon emissions (38% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions come from leaky buildings). They’re also subjected to thorough assessments to ensure certain levels of energy efficiency.

Furthermore, if you take advantage of any Green Deal improvements, you can rest assured that the work is carried out by accredited professionals. What’s more, the initiative is backed by strong consumer protection. So whatever additional expenses eco-home owners may incur upfront, it's clear that many buyers are recognising the long-term cost-savings they can achieve by investing in a home that is not only more energy-efficient, but less subject to structural flaws and leaks.

Buying a home is one of the most important investments you'll make, whether it's eco-friendly or not. If you decide to invest in an eco-friendly home, don't hesitate to enlist the services of an online estate agent like Tepilo for expert advice.

Get Started with Sarah Beeny's Tepilo now.