Soaring energy bills are something that none of us can ignore at the moment; the cost of living crisis is expect to worsen this winter, with industry experts warning that the typical bill could exceed £3600 this winter, and continuing into 2024. Dr Craig Lowrey, principal consultant at Cornwall Insight, said: “While the rise in forecasts for October and January is a pressing concern, it is not only the level – but the duration – of the rises that makes these new forecasts so devastating.” With this in mind, it is no wonder that many homeowners in Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough and Forest Row are looking at ways to make their home greener and more energy efficient.
Lack of understanding
At KMJ Property we always do our research, and according to a report published by Rightmove at the end of July, one of the biggest reasons
homeowners are not making green improvements is because they feel they don’t need too. This could be very much down to a lack of understanding of what improvements to make and also the lack of financial incentives, although making homes green is critical if the UK is to reach Net Zero by 2050. Rightmove found that 33% of homeowners think that making changes to their property would be too expensive, yet will be the cost of living crisis become the biggest motivator?
At KMJ Property we have noticed that buyers are more conscious about looking for properties that have green features. Rightmove have seen that there has been a rise in searches for features such as solar panels and heat pumps through their keyword sort tool. Compared to the start of 2020, Rightmove have noted that estate agents are now including 73% more green terms as key selling points. Buyers will no doubt be attracted to homes that are sustainable and whose owners have made changes to make them more energy efficient.
Benefits for sellers
With one of the main concerns for homeowners being the expense of adding such features, are there any financial benefits? Analysis by Rightmove found that sellers who had made improvements to upgrade their energy performance certificate (EPC) rating from an F to a C had on average achieved 16% more on the price of their property. Green features that have increased the EPC rating from E to C achieved an extra 8%, whereas those that moved from D to C resulted in an extra 4% average.
Your EPC is a snapshot in time and an assessment of your building. It also gives you a list of
recommendations on the changes you can make to help improve your home’s efficiency and, in turn, your energy bills. Some of the changes you could potentially make include:
• improving insulation in loft and walls
• replacing your boiler
• installing a wood-burning stove
• adding solar panels.
The experts state “Improving a property’s green credentials is critically important as the UK strives to hit Net Zero. The immediate challenge is the sheer number of properties that are currently below an EPC rating of C and the costs involved to fix this. There has been much debate about what could happen in the future to homes with poor energy efficiency, and the government has said they will make sure these homes can still get mortgages. But I don’t think it would be a surprise if in ten years’ time we see that people taking out mortgages or remortgaging a home with the lowest EPC ratings find that they miss out on the best mortgage rates.” Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, Tim Bannister
The long term gain.
Not all changes you making to your property will have an instant impact on your finances, features such as solar panels could take between 11 and 27 years to recoup the cost, according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST). Already, in the UK around 1 million properties have installed solar panels, with the number rising rapidly. Depending on how much energy you use, a typical home will save £300 a year, and at the moment any saving, we know, will be warmly appreciated.
At KMJ Property we can certainly see a growing need for homes with more energy efficient features, not only with concerns of the cost of living but also climate change. When selling your property, make sure you highlight any green upgrades you have made, as they may help to attract conscious buyers. Give our team a call to discuss the benefits of making your home greener. Call 01892 515188 or email us at email@example.com.