The government's controversial cuts to green energy subsidies come into effect this month, but experts argue that eco-friendly devices can still slash your household energy bills while simultaneously adding to the value of your home.
Specifically designed eco-friendly houses are popping up all over Britain. The homes come equipped with a raft of energy-saving gadgets, including solar panels and intelligent temperature controls.
As a result the residences cost, on average, an extra £36,000 to purchase. However, this is offset by some home-owners reporting running costs of just £1 per day in energy bills. To put that in context, the average annual dual fuel bill for a standard UK home is around £1,264.
It seems the public is eager to take advantage of these substantial household savings, as 11% of UK homes are now classed as highly energy-efficient. This is double the number of just four years ago.
Although the government's support for renewable devices is set to be slashed further at the beginning of this year, experts argue that investing in such devices is still good value for money in the long term. Even though feed-in-tariff rates for solar panels are due to fall to just 4.39p, the price of purchasing solar panels has dropped considerably, with households saving almost £2,000 on an average 4kW system compared to three years ago.
Paul Barwell of the Solar Trade Association says that "Solar [energy] is still worth the cost if you consider the wider benefits, such as the increased value to your home." This is backed up by research from Barclays Mortgages, which discovered that home-buyers are willing to pay on average an extra £2,000 for a home equipped with solar panels.
Despite the cuts, public demand for renewables remains undiminished. As Greenpeace put it, "With costs falling, demand rising, and post-Paris momentum growing, the UK solar sector will see off the government's attacks.
"If the government is as committed as it claims to be on the Paris climate deal, then solar is one of the cheapest and safest ways for the UK to deliver on it."