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Property investors building green homes to reduce carbon footprint

Prince William has just held his award ceremony in London for the Earthshot Prize, an environmental programme aimed at discovering new ways and using the latest technologies to help tackle climate change and reduce global warming.

The event was held just days before the COP26 global summit in Glasgow, which starts on the 31st of October. An intriguing date to launch such an ambitious challenge because the future could look very scary without making these changes.

Property investors are building green homes to reduce their carbon footprint.

Did you know that 40 percent of all UK carbon emissions originate from homes? This is why the British government has made a legally binding commitment to reduce our carbon footprint, bringing it to zero by 2050, which means that all newly built homes must reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% in the long run and be ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.

Although this is a huge undertaking, new legal rules, regulations, and best practices will ensure that this target is met by property investors, builders, and those in the public and private housing sector.

As a property investor and property entrepreneur, it is important to share my experience and insight into how property investors can improve, develop green homes and reduce their carbon footprint.

Invest in New Build Property Developments.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests around fifteen per cent of the UK’s carbon emission output currently stems from heating homes. At present, less than five per cent of energy used is from a green source.

There is clearly a great deal of room for improvement in this area, and newly built homes can help reduce the carbon footprint because they tend to have the best EPC ratings and building standards that meet the National House Building Council (NHBC) requirements.

The UK government has committed to ensuring all properties within Britain meet the minimum EPC rating, which is C, by 2035. By helping homeowners to make improvements to existing properties and by investing in new build green homes, this target should be achievable.

Investing in green homes will also appeal to environmentally conscious property buyers.

Is your portfolio sustainable enough?

As standards are raised, and new legislation is put in place, it will be important to consider if your current property portfolio can adapt to match these plans to reduce the carbon footprint of homes. This will likely impact the commercial side of property investment too, so it will be advantageous to keep up to date with changes in that sector.

Properties that fall short of the environmental credentials that new homes will have could result in many properties being worth less in the future in comparison.

Making environmentally-friendly changes to existing properties now could help safeguard against this, and investing in new properties will help to reduce the risk to your portfolio.

Improving existing properties for a sustainable future.

As previously mentioned, if you already have existing investment properties, it will be a smart move to retrofit these, so they have green home credentials and reduce their carbon footprint. While new homes will be built to more energy efficient standards, less than 1 to 2% of annual building stock are actually new builds. So it makes sense to enhance existing properties.

Older properties can be updated with a whole host of sustainable features:

  • Insulation
  • Solar energy
  • High performance windows
  • Renewable energy supply
  • Environmentally paints
  • Install energy efficient lighting
  • Install smart power strips
  • Increase natural light

This is just a very small example of the improvement you could make to an existing home to reduce the carbon footprint.

It’s true, upgrading the properties that you are invested in with all of these sustainable features for older property won’t come cheap. However, they will be worth that investment in the long run, and there’s a real possibility of receiving subsidies and grants to help toward costs.

Making green property investments is good for the environment and a wise move considering the way the property market is heading.