A home with energy-efficient features not only reduces living costs, it can be one of the few low-risk ways to increase its value on the property market, according to experts.
As far as defining the concept of what an energy-efficient home is, Realmark Coastal Director and Sales Associate Sean Hughes and Mark Hay Realty Group Principal Mark Hay both said it was one that helped you save on utilities and minimised your environmental footprint.
“Energy-efficient homes cost a lot less to run and are easily rateable,” Mr Hay said. “An energy-efficient home will leave a far smaller footprint and is considered highly desirable in today’s marketplace.”
Mr Hughes said eco-friendly abodes incorporated a solar passive design which takes advantage of the property’s climate, site and materials to minimise energy use.
“Solar passive design features north-facing living rooms to keep the house warm in winter and south-west facing bedrooms to keep cool at night without the use of air-conditioning.”
According to Mr Hay, when the green rating was first introduced 20 years ago, it was dubbed a hippie-style culture.
“Everyone is now becoming green conscious, especially as we race to a zero carbon footprint model,” he said.
“Going green is very much at the forefront of leading a sustainable lifestyle that dampens our impact on the Earth.”
Mr Hughes said energy-efficient features would consistently add value to your home, making it attractive when it came on market.
“Solar panels will add up to $20,000 in value and double-glazing windows can add up to $50,000,” he said.
“Invest in quality blinds to keep the heat out in summer and the cold out in winter.”
Mr Hay agreed, saying window glazing will be a wise investment with a multitude of other benefits too.
“Energy-efficient glass cuts down heating and cooling costs and, where pertinent, will also assist with noise debasement,” he said.
Mr Hay recommended some additional energy-efficient features, including a rainwater tank for drinking water and hair washing, as well as utilising greywater for gardening.
“It is fair to say in the embryonic stages of energy efficiency that the increased value in resale is, at a minimum, the cost of the energy-saving item’s installation, plus two to three times more,” he said.
Aside from the aesthetic value, Mr Hughes said a home that could easily welcome a sea breeze would be a plus when it came to energy efficiency.
“A lot of homes we sell on the coast barely use air-conditioning – they open a window at the front and at the back of the home to let the sea breeze in,” he said.