How to make your home sustainable
You might think that retrofitting your current property to be more sustainable isn’t easy, but help is on the way. Here are some tips to go green(er)!
One of the most popular topics these days is sustainability in relation to your property. Making your home more sustainable is making a contribution to improve the environment. But that is not the only benefit. Home sustainability will improve your living comfort and will lower your energy costs. A win-win situation for everybody!
The perfect sustainable property is an efficient property that is built or retrofitted so that resources will optimise the use of energy. Of course, if you retrofit your home for sustainability, costs are involved. You also might think that retrofitting your current property isn’t easy, but help is on the way!
Where to start
An important step in making your house more energy-efficient is to always insulate first before installing more efficient ways of heating or solar panels. Also, making small changes in energy-efficient appliances is something that everybody can easily do.
By investing in energy-efficient appliances in your home, you can lower your bills as well. Think of light bulbs, showerheads, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and dryers. It might feel like a small step, but every little helps.
If you start insulating your home, the most important part is the roof as the loss of heat through the roof is substantial. This must be your first step to creating a kind of shell around your home. HR ++ or triple glazing makes a huge difference as well. The other benefit of replacing windows is less noise in the home. Most of the time these two measures make the biggest difference. To further reduce heat loss, you can also insulate the walls and the floor.
Last year, the tax on natural gas increased and this year, the tax on electricity will decrease. That makes it the right time to reconsider your heating system. The traditional c.v. boiler gets its energy entirely from gas. A heat pump has greater energy efficiency. A heat pump only uses a small amount of electricity. The purchase costs are high but there are still subsidy possibilities.
Solar water heater
For those who use a lot of hot water (rain shower), a solar water heater is financially interesting. The boiler is an addition to the central heating boiler or heat pump and only heats the bath, shower and tap water.
If you have the possibility to install solar panels, you will be able to generate electricity that you can use to power your home. Solar panels not only generate sustainable electricity, but you also save on your energy bill. The yield of solar panels depends on the location and the angle of inclination of your roof, the power, and your location in the Netherlands. If you live on the coast, there are more hours of sunshine than, for example, in the east of the Netherlands. The yield of solar panels in the Netherlands is on average 2,600 kWh / year.
You can get a subsidy for insulation! With the subsidy, you get about 20 percent of the costs back. To get this subsidy, you must have carried out at least two insulation measures within a year. Measures that qualify for this subsidy include insulation of the roof, HR ++ or triple glazing and exterior walls and floors, for instance. It is also possible to combine one insulation measure with a heat pump, solar boiler or connection to a heat network.
The subsidy is not only for homeowners, but there are also possibilities for homeowner associations as well. Please be aware that subsidy funds are limited.
When taking out your mortgage, certain mortgage providers can lend you an extra amount for energy-saving measures. You can only use this money for energy-saving measures, not for that insanely luxurious kitchen you've been wanting to get. Another trend that we currently see in the market is that there are mortgage providers that are starting to offer lower interest rates for properties that have a better energy label. Or mortgage providers that provide you with a better interest rate if you decide to improve your energy label with a renovation.
There are also possibilities to get a special energy-saving loan with extra-low interest rates. With this loan, a homeowner can borrow a maximum of 25.000 euros (maximum term of 20 years). This prevents the costs of the loan from exceeding the savings on the energy bill.
Let’s go green!
So, you see there are many things you can do to make your home eco-friendlier, and not everything needs to be expensive to arrange. If you’d like to get some guidance and want to explore your subsidy possibilities, then a good real estate agent has the contacts to get the process started. Let’s make life greener for our children and for our beautiful planet!