Five ways homeowners can ensure their homes are more sustainable and cost-effective
Rising utility costs and the challenge of living in a waterscarce region have intensified property owners’ desire for sustainable power sources in the home that could enable them to live almost entirely off the grid.
This was underlined by the results of a local first quarter 2018 survey by the Pam Golding Property group which shows that 54.4% of its agents are seeing considerable buyer interest in homes with green features.
Furthermore, 70.3% of agents surveyed estimates that eco-conscious homes record a price premium of up to 5%.
Five ways homeowners can ensure their homes are more sustainable and cost-effective include:
1. Rainwater harvesting
This is a low-cost way for a homeowner to capture and store run-off water from gutters that can be used for irrigation, washing and topping up the pool. One 2 500 litre rainwater tank can maintain a large, locally indigenous waterwise garden through summer, says Cape Town based botanist, pollination ecologist and revegetation specialist, Caitlin von Witt.
2. Reducing energy usage
About 45% of a home’s energy needs are used for heating and cooling so installing a boiler that uses wood pellets as fuel to heat water for domestic use and underfloor heating is an economical energy alternative that is also CO2 neutral.
3. Install solar panels
These convert sunlight into electricity and also come with storage options so you can accumulate energy even when there isn’t sunshine. It is estimated the cost of the initial investment can be recouped within five to eight years, with a saving of up to 60% in electricity bills.
4. More sustainable cooling systems
An evaporative ducted cooling system can cool the home more cost-effectively than a conventional air conditioner.
5. Double-glazed windows
With UV filters, they help regulate temperature without using energy. Ceiling insulation will also reduce electricity costs.