Ways Homes in the UK can Be Green without Solar Panels. Before getting into the topic, it should be made clear that solar panels are certainly the way to go should you be able to afford the cost of the setup. Getting your own renewable energy should be a no-brainer, as we lay out in our Solar piece, but a lot of people simply can’t afford what’s roughly a £7,000 outlay.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you should be put off being eco-friendly or having a green home. Solar energy isn’t the be-all and end-all of being green; there are a great many ways that you can help the environment and save money in the long run.
Small ways to be green before getting solar panels
As with everything, it’s always good to start with smaller changes to your house and your everyday activities to progress towards becoming very green. While the changes to your bills will be quaint, they’ll help ease through the culture shock of sudden change that can end up booting you back to square one.
So, start with some of the energy-saving tips that Architectural Digest has listed. These include putting in LED bulbs, cleaning fridge coils to help your appliance run more efficiently, drying your clothes outside, using cold water more often, and recycling everything that can be recycled – even the stuff that needs a clean first.
A big factor that many people forget is the water issue, in that the world is rapidly losing its freshwater reserves. So, be sure to set up hefty water butts on your guttering downpipes so that any rain that comes down can be used later for your garden. This will also save you money in the summer.
Just about any beginner in crafting a green home would do well to ask their energy company to install a smart meter. While they won’t directly save you energy, they will show you exactly how much you’re spending with each activity and throughout the day, which automatically gives you a clear idea of how to cut back.
When you’re ready for the bigger changes
To make the actual building that you call home greener and more energy-efficient, you may need to consider some renovations. Start with getting more insulation into your cavity walls and loft, which makes a big difference in the winter. Next, swap in double or triple-glazed windows to also keep in the heat.
There are also many services actively trying to help you to create or even get a green home. While the online mortgage broker Trussle offers a free Mortgage in Principle (MIP) that only runs a soft check against your credit, it also has many resources on government schemes. One such entry delves into the government’s Green Finance Strategy and green mortgages, which your home could qualify for if you make it energy efficient.
As well as potentially saving money by proving yourself worthy of a green mortgage, you can also claim vouchers and deals on one of the most impactful ways of cutting your carbon footprint. Gradually moving into a vegan, vegetarian, or even flexitarian diet is one of the best actions that you can take to make your household green, and with a quick online search, you can find bundles of promotions to save money on the already less expensive foods than meat.
It’s always best to start small, reap the benefits, and then build-up to the big stuff. When it comes to creating a green home, all of the above will save you money down the line.