It may never have been more in vogue to go green. Many of us want to do our bit to help the planet, and as well as recycling, taking our unwanted items to the charity shops and trying not to waste food, we can also do this by making over our homes.
There are plenty of ways to make your property more energy efficient, from insulating the loft to getting a new boiler fitted that's able to convert more of the energy it uses into heat for your home. And another way to use your property to help the environment is by generating your own power, which you may be able to do by getting solar panels installed.
Up on the roof
A new survey carried out for us has revealed that one in five homeowners would like to have solar panels installed. A further 4% are actively planning to get the technology fitted, while more than one in 20 already have done.
Across the country, solar panels appear to be most popular in London, where 15% of property owners said they have them. This compares to the region that came second on the list: East Anglia, where 8% of homeowners have solar power.
However, while a healthy number of green-minded homeowners are considering investing in solar panels, half revealed they are not interested. When asked why, the main reason given was the up-front cost involved.
There are options that could help ease this cost, though. The government’s Green Deal allows eligible homeowners to pay for the work in instalments through the money they save on their energy bills once the panels are up and running.
Other options to help manage the cost include the possibility of taking out a home improvement loan. Bear in mind that as this is secured on your property, failure to keep up with your additional repayments could put your home at risk.
Green home improvements
Of course, solar panels are not suitable for all properties. Many installers advise that north-facing rooftops may not be suitable as the panels will not get enough sunlight. However, east and west-facing roofs can still get the light they need to generate power – so it’s not only people with south-facing roofs who can consider the technology.
And if solar panels really aren’t something you’re keen on, there are other ways to make your home more energy efficient. One of the main ways to do this is to ensure that your property retains as much heat as possible and that the amount of warm energy that escapes is kept to an absolute minimum.
Ways to do this can range from something as simple as placing draught excluders by your external doors to having double glazing and insulation fitted. You can get more inspiration on giving your home a green makeover from the Energy Saving Trust.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 6th June and 16th June 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.