How green is your home? (and we’re not talking about the colour…)

by Seeff HQ

South Africa has joined the greening race. With an increasing number of properties being built with green principles in mind, there are plenty of products readily available on the market to improve both newly built as well as existing homes.

Property developers are now more inclined to use green building solutions due to the significant role it plays in creating an eco-friendly environment, reducing the cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and consuming less volumes of water and electricity; resulting in more sustainable living.

Going green in South Africa is fast becoming a popular trend especially with the power crisis two years ago and the current drought. The escalating costs of electricity is making green building solutions such as solar power a more practical choice in the long run.

Having an environmentally friendly home is a simple way to help protect the environment and preserve the planet, but it can be costly. There are always more cost effective measure though.

One of the biggest challenges is a property’s electricity usage which makes up a large portion of the homes utility bill. Any household item that is plugged into an outlet is still using energy even if the item is not on. When making home appliance purchases, do your research ahead of time to find out whether the product is energy-efficient. The same applies to using energy efficient light bulbs; small changes can still make a big difference in your energy usage.

Heating is the next culprit that uses large volumes of electricity in the home. Solar energy solutions are now becoming increasingly popular due to the demand in the market. Although the initial cost of solar heating is more than conventional heating systems, in time you will benefit from a decrease in your utility bill after installation.

Smaller improvements around the property including the use of grey water systems will further boost your home’s green status by decreasing the water usage significantly. Water usage is something that many people find challenging to reduce. Replacing nozzles with low flow, high pressure nozzles is a simple way to start reducing water effectively while still being able to clean just as effectively as a normal nozzle. The higher pressure of water spreads the stream over a larger area which reduces the amount of water required. Rerouting water outlet pipes from washing machines, basins and dishwashers – grey water can be used to water lawns and plants, and wash cars and pavements.

Small changes can make a huge difference when beginning the transition into green living. From light bulbs and water nozzles to grey water and solar heating – contact trusted and recommended local service providers to begin the process.

The flip side of all of these measures is that you are adding to the attractiveness of your home to future buyers. Given the rising costs of basic utilities such as electricity and water along with the electricity crisis of two years ago and current drought, means that the focus of buyers is now on finding homes with green features.

Seeff advises though to be careful with incurring too high costs as you may not be able to recoup these in your selling price. But, chances are that a buyer keen on saving costs and contributing to saving the planet will be prepared to pay a little extra for your home.

As always, your guide will be your local area specialist who can advise what value such measures could possibly contribute to your home.