Top 5 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home in 2023

By Vicki Coleman

There is more than one good reason to make your home eco-friendly – as well as helping you do your bit for the environment, it can drive down the cost of your energy bills and even put some value on your house.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, amid the energy crisis, there is a huge demand for eco-friendly homes amongst homebuyers right now.

According to recent research[1], almost three quarters (70%) of UK homebuyers would like their property to be more eco-friendly.

In the survey, 60% of respondents would be interested in an eco-friendly property to minimise carbon footprint, compared to 59% to reap financial benefits, such as higher resale value, savings on bills, etc.

So, we’ve come up with some tips on how to make your home more environmentally friendly.

1.       Generate some extra income with solar energy

Around one million homes in the UK have solar panels, figures suggest[2]. That’s less than 5% of UK homes, despite estimates showing that the average UK home with a solar PV system installed could reduce carbon emissions by 1.2 to 1.7 tonnes per year.

The sticking point appears to be cost, with the average solar panel priced at around £5,500 - £6,500. Based on the Energy Saving Trust's figures[3], it could take someone living in the middle of the country, in a typical home, anywhere between 11 and 15 years to recoup the costs of installing panels.

But if you were to dip into your coffers and install a solar PV system, you could shave between £210 and £514 a year off your bills (based on the current price cap rates). You could also stand to earn a few quid via the smart export guarantee (SEG) scheme which allows you to effectively sell any excess electricity you generate from solar panels to energy suppliers.

Should you then go on to sell your property, you might be able to demand a higher price – as much as £13,000 more, as per Rated People[4].

The good news is that many home insurance policies will include solar panels as standard. For most insurers, solar panels aren’t an expensive gadget – they’ll consider your solar panels to be part of the fabric of your house, just as much as the roof or walls.

QuoteSearch can help you find the perfect solar panels for your home.

2.       Keep the heat in with triple glazing

Adding an extra layer (or two) of glass to your windows could be another way to increase the value of your property. Rated People reckon triple glazing can add more than £12,000 to a property’s price – and the benefit over solar panels (if you can only do one) is there’s no concerns about the aesthetics.

Glass manufacturers have mastered the art of coating and tinting glass with all manner of finishes which can keep the heat in, unwanted sunlight away, reduce glare and even self-clean, too.

It’s not just the three panes of glass that make a unit more efficient. Other features that boost performance include an inert gas such as argon inserted between the glass, which is less conductive (and therefore more insulating) than air.

As a result, triple glazing can produce significant savings in your energy bills. But, again, you’ll need to have some decent savings to make it happen, with triple glazing installation costing around £6,000-£7,000.

Find the perfect windows for you with QuoteSearch.

3.       Reduce your lighting bills with LEDs

If you don’t have the budget to stretch to a big installation like triple glazing or solar PV, replacing all the bulbs in your home with LED lights represents lower-hanging fruit.

From an environmental perspective, you could reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40kg a year. Lighting makes up 11% of the average UK household electricity consumption, so making the switch could help you save money too.

As per the Energy Saving Trust[5], switching a 100 watt incandescent bulb to LEDs could save you £15 per bulb – you do the maths on how much you’ll save, based on the number of incandescent bulbs in your house.

It won’t add any value to your house, but it makes for cheaper, more eco-friendly living, without any great outlay.

4.       Future-proof your home with an electric car charging point

With fuel prices showing few signs of coming down to anywhere near where they were 12 months ago, could now be the time to consider an electric car?

Before you do, you’ll probably want to install an electric car charging point at your property. If you buy a 7kW charging point – which is recommended for most drivers – it’ll cost you around £600 for the charger, and £400 for the installation process, as per The Eco Experts[6].

You can quickly make that back, however, with it being twice as cheap to charge an electric vehicle than to refuel a petrol car over a year. You’ll break even on your charger within two years.

Meanwhile, by future-proofing your home, you can add more than £11,000 to the value of your property – not bad for a £1,000 outlay.

5.       Boost your wellbeing by pruning your garden

If you have a decent garden you can call your own, get out there and tend to it in your spare time.

From an environmental point of view, plants are highly effective natural air purifiers that absorb carbon dioxide and pollutants. In exchange, they provide us with cleaner oxygen and fresher air.

Meanwhile, adding even a few areas of pollinator-friendly plants or flowers in your garden can provide valuable habitat for animals that are otherwise experiencing widespread habitat losses.

You might surprise yourself with how much you enjoy the process – and the end results. Studies show[7] that even looking at a garden can reduce stress, improve heart health, lower blood pressure and ease muscle tension.

In fact, most of the tips above have their health benefits. Enhanced energy efficiency upgrades have been shown to reduce indoor air contaminants linked to chronic illnesses and respiratory health conditions.

Having a clean bill of health has obvious benefits – and it can even drive down the cost of things like life insurance.

Curious as to how much life insurance will cost you? Generate some personalised quotes with QuoteSearch today.

[1] https://www.lrg.co.uk/media-centre/nearly-three-quarters-of-buyers-would-like-their-property-to-be-more-eco-friendly/

[2] https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2015/08/how-popular-are-solar-panels-in-the-uk

[3] https://theswitch.co.uk/energy/guides/renewables/solar-energy

[4] https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes-interiors/interiors/a39822500/eco-home-improvements-increase-property-value/

[5] https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/lighting/

[6] https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/electric-vehicles/charging-point-installation-cost

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334070/