Green upgrades and home improvements: Making your home energy-efficient

Thinking about giving your home a makeover? Want to make it warm and comfortable along with being aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Why not combine it with some eco-friendly upgrades and create a space that’s both beautiful and sustainable? Retrofitting energy-efficient components alongside your existing renovation plans can be a smart and cost-effective way to boost your home’s value, reduce your energy bills, and contribute to a greener planet. During the design phase make sure to look at ways to go green where possible and maximise the potential value of your upgrade project or extension.

What green home improvements are there?

There are many ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Let’s go through some of the main ones:

      1. Heat pump revolution: Ditch those outdated oil heaters or storage units and embrace the future with a heat pump. These innovative systems generate heat using renewable energy sources like air or ground, offering zero emissions and up to 25% more efficiency than traditional boilers. Consider ground source heat pumps for spacious gardens or air source options for smaller areas. Government incentives like the Boiler Upgrade Scheme can even help offset upfront costs. Check the government website boiler upgrade site for more details on the various schemes on offer and their eligibility criteria.

      2. Double glazing delight: Whether you’re gutting a room or building a new loft, energy-efficient windows are a must-have. Not only do they help retain heat, reducing energy consumption, but they also create a quieter, more comfortable living space by minimising noise pollution. Opt for A++ rated windows for optimal efficiency and consider wooden frames for a touch of elegance that matches your renovation style.

      3. Cozy and insulated attic or loft conversion: May of us want to maximise the space in our homes and the loft or attic is an often-underused space and ripe for expanding into. If you’re adding an attic conversion, remember that good insulation is key to meeting minimum energy efficiency standards and making the most of your investment. Don’t settle for the bare minimum – ensure you ask for additional insulation to maximise energy savings, weather protection, soundproofing, and overall comfort. Remember, well-insulated walls and ceilings are crucial for a truly liveable attic space, so consider seeking expert help for optimal results.

      4. Solar battery storage for your EV: Own an electric vehicle also known as an EV? Combine your solar panel installation with a home battery storage system to optimise your energy use and save even more. Most EV tariffs offer cheaper overnight charging rates, so storing solar energy during the day and powering your car at night can be a budget-friendly and an eco-conscious choice. Explore and consider various battery options like Tesla Powerwall, SonnenBatterie, or xStorage by Nissan, considering factors like capacity, warranty, backup power capabilities, and aesthetics to find the perfect fit for your needs.

      5. Solar powerhouse: Planning an extension or loft conversion? This is the perfect time to integrate solar panels. With scaffolding already in place, installation costs can be reduced, and you’ll save on future builder visits. Plus, you’ll enjoy the benefits of renewable energy generation, lower bills, and potential income from Smart Energy Guarantee payments for excess energy exported to the grid. Remember, planning your extension with a 30-degree angle in mind can maximise solar energy capture, and coordinating skylights and windows with panel placement can further boost their efficiency. Solar technology is rapidly advancing and has come along way in just the last 5 years, so now is a great time to make that investment and insulate yourself, if you pardon the pun, against raising energy costs.

Financing your green dreams

Several financing options can help you make your eco-friendly home improvement dreams a reality. Consider a second charge mortgage, also known as a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). This allows you to leverage your existing home equity to secure additional funds for things like renovations and other major life expenses. Remember, second charge mortgages may have higher interest rates than your primary mortgage, so careful financial planning is key. They may not always be suitable so make sure to seek advice from appropriately regulated sources such as a FCA regulated mortgage broker if required. Alternatively, explore government grants and incentives specifically designed to support energy-efficient upgrades.

Is a second charge mortgage a good idea?

You might decide that it makes better financial sense to keep your existing mortgage given it has a more favourable interest rate. This is common given the latest rises in the Bank of England base rate and the fact that most fixed rate mortgages are for two to five years. Also, it might be the case that your existing mortgage carries early repayment fees to repay it during the fixed rate period. It may be best then to leave your first charge mortgage in place and seek alternatives. In cases like this it might be that a home equity mortgage is an appropriate product for you. Whether it is a good idea or not is best left to professionals to assess and therefore seek advice as appropriate.

However, a second mortgage might not be suitable if you are experiencing financial difficulties. This is because you could lose your home if you fail to keep up repayments on either mortgage. Take a look at our products page for more information.

Additional tips

  1. Book a home assessment to get personalised recommendations for green upgrades that suit your specific needs and budget.
  2. Research and compare different contractors and products to find the best deals and quality options.
  3. Consider the long-term benefits of green upgrades – lower energy bills, increased home value, and a positive environmental impact – when making your decisions.

Remember, every step towards a more sustainable home counts and can benefit your pocket and the planet’s future.

Conclusion

Combining home improvements with green upgrades is a win-win situation for all. You can create a beautiful, comfortable, and energy-efficient living space while reducing your environmental impact and saving money on your energy bills. So, think past the outdated systems of yesteryear and embrace the future of sustainable living, you know it makes sense!

About Scroll

Scroll is a digital first organisation with technology at our core. We have created a full end-to-end loan platform designed specifically to either embed in a partner customer journey or to function as a standalone solution. We have set out to help homeowners leverage their home or property equity to finance significant capital outlays. These include home improvement, property investments, debt consolidation, and covering later life care costs. Scroll has an ambitious tech focused management team who really believe in their mission and work every day to improve access to innovative finance solutions to smooth personal cashflow and bring projects to fruition.