Why eco homes are no longer a pipe dream

Your eco options

Make your home smart

This is fairly simple and easy to do. Installing a smart thermostat and smart meter enables you to see precisely how much energy you’re using, and then control it using your smartphone or tablet, wherever you are. Smart plugs and lightbulbs could also make a big difference, meaning appliances aren’t left on when they don’t need to be. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that you could save around £75 a year by turning your appliances off standby mode and the lights off when you leave a room (as at March 2022).

Reclaim and reuse building materials

Using reclaimed materials for your home improvements may cut costs and make your renovations that little bit more sustainable. From bricks and tiles to wooden doors and metal fixtures and fittings, recycled materials can typically be found from reclamation and salvage yards, or even demolition companies. It’s a good idea to call ahead first though.

The insulation gain

A whopping 40 per cent of a home’s heat loss is down to a lack of insulation (BuildIt, 2022). So, before you make the switch to renewables, make sure your heating – and therefore your money – isn’t going out the window, or in this case the walls. You can use a wide range of natural and recycled materials to insulate your loft or cavity walls, from sheep’s wool to thermal lining for solid walls. You should speak to a professional to discuss your options. This could also contribute to a better energy efficiency (EPC) rating, and in turn could increase your property’s value.

Should I consider solar?

Installing solar panels could reduce your electricity costs, anywhere between £165 and £405 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. But they can be used to produce hot water as well as generate electricity, potentially saving you even more. You could even be eligible to receive payments for the extra energy you generate through the Smart Export Guarantee. What’s more, you won’t have to rely on sunshine for your panels to generate electricity, they just need to be attached to a roof or wall facing south.

What about a heat pump?

Heat pumps capture heat from outside and move or pump it into your home. Heat pumps use less electricity and gas than traditional methods and during the summer can be reversed to act like an air conditioner. The initial upfront cost can be pretty big and installation can be time consuming. But once up and running, it can be a good low-carbon, low-cost solution.

Funding that upfront cost

Energy efficiency measures could make a difference to the cost of living, shaving an average £1,000 a year off energy bills for British households, according to the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). But it could involve expensive changes to your home and you may need some support meeting the upfront cost

The move to greener homes is very real. We recently commissioned a ‘Greener Homes Attitude Tracker’, speaking to 4,500 people in the UK about greener homes and environmental features. It found that almost a quarter of UK homeowners plan to make green home improvements in the next year, and more than half are more likely to implement energy efficiency measures because of high energy prices.

Paul Easson
Product Manager, Premier Banking

Paul adds: “This is certainly echoed in our own activity helping our customers with this. We’re supporting over 3,000 customers a year with green mortgages and have leant over £1.7bn so far.”

Take a closer look at the Greener Homes Attitude Tracker, or call our Premier 24 service any time to book an appointment with your Premier Manager if you’d like to know more.

NatWest Green Mortgages are available to over 18s purchasing or remortgaging a home with a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or B. Product fees may apply.

Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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As always, Premier 24 is available any time for your day-to-day banking needs or book an appointment with your Premier Manager if you need to discuss something more in-depth about your financial plans.

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This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the NatWest Group Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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