Top tips for mak­ing your home GREENER

Scottish Field - - ABODE -

What’s top of the list for your project? Home­own­ers are in­creas­ingly fo­cus­ing on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­abil­ity when mak­ing home im­prove­ments or choos­ing a new prop­erty.

So, how do you make sure choos­ing green tech­nol­ogy is a sound in­vest­ment?

Get im­par­tial ad­vice

Be­fore be­gin­ning a project – whether it’s a new build, ren­o­va­tion or a smaller project, get­ting un­bi­ased, clear in­for­ma­tion is es­sen­tial.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment funds free specialist ad­vice, over the phone or in your home. Ad­vi­sors as­sess your home and pro­vide a re­port to help you weigh up your op­tions – from de­cid­ing which tech to use, to fi­nan­cial sup­port and even plan­ning con­sid­er­a­tions. Call Home En­ergy Scot­land on 0808 808 2282.

Do your sums

While you’re get­ting ad­vice, check out what fi­nan­cial sup­port is avail­able. House­holds in Scot­land can ap­ply for a Govern­ment­backed in­ter­est free loan for a range of en­ergy sav­ing home im­prove­ments, and in some cases grant fund­ing is avail­able.

You should also fac­tor in in­come from in­cen­tives like the Do­mes­tic Re­new­able Heat In­cen­tive. Choos­ing en­ergy ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy can mean pay­ing more up front, but could work out bet­ter long term – and you could save on your en­ergy bills.

Speak to some­one who has done it be­fore

Be­fore you take the plunge, check out what real house­hold­ers say about liv­ing with green tech­nol­ogy us­ing the Green Homes Net­work. The En­ergy Sav­ing Trust hosts a search­able net­work of prop­er­ties that you can read about or visit in per­son, to chat with the home­owner about their ex­pe­ri­ences. To search, visit www.en­er­gysav­ingtrust.org.uk/green-homes-net­work

Choose the best com­pany for the job

If you’re get­ting a home re­new­ables sys­tem, En­ergy Sav­ing Trust rec­om­mends stick­ing to com­pa­nies cer­ti­fied through the Mi­cro­gen­er­a­tion Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Scheme (MCS). You can search for, and read re­views of, MCS com­pa­nies us­ing the Re­new­ables In­staller Fin­der. Visit: rif.est.org.uk

It’s good to get at least three quotes – and re­mem­ber cheaper isn’t al­ways bet­ter. For free im­par­tial ad­vice call Home En­ergy Scot­land on 0808 808 2282.

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