Save money on your energy bills and add value to your property by going green. Improvements that reduce your home's energy and water use will significantly increase its resale value.
A study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that increasing a home's energy efficiency rating by half a star adds 1.91 per cent to its sales price - which equates to $7,000 for a property worth $365,000.
The study was conducted in the Australian Capital Territory using 2006 sales price data and since then the demand for eco-friendly houses has increased to the point where it is now well-accepted that buyers are prepared to pay more for a property that ticks all the green boxes. Conduct a search of properties for sale and there's a good chance you'll find that solar hot water, photovoltaic roof panels and water tanks are common additions.
The building regulations that set minimum standards for energy efficiency in new houses across Australia are getting stricter all the time. The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) assesses the potential thermal comfort of homes on a scale of 1 to 10 stars. Well designed homes are now being built above six stars compared to an average of one star for homes that were built twenty years ago. When you sell your home you want it to be able to compete with these newer more energy and water efficient homes.
The Green Loan Scheme was set up by the Australian Government to encourage households to install products that would help tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A free sustainability assessment was offered as well as interest free 'green loans', and while this scheme has now finished, some lenders continue to offer similar style home loans (give us a call if you want to know more about this).
These 'green' or 'energy efficient' mortgages offer a discount or a bigger loan than normally permitted for home-owners that make energy efficient improvements or buy a high energy efficient star rated home.
Greening your home
Adding environmentally friendly features like the following will lower your bills and make sure the investment in your home holds its value over time.
- Ceiling insulation
- Draft proofing of external windows and doors
- Efficient hot water unit (solar, gas or heat pump) in place of electric unit
- Rainwater tank and/or grey water recycling system
- Solar panels
- Native garden
- Drip irrigation system
- Blinds and awnings
- Energy efficient appliances
A great free resource is the www.nabers.gov.au website, where you can self-assess your home's energy efficiency and receive a customised energy action plan.