Many homeowners look to make their homes environmentally friendly, but this can be a costly and lengthy process. There are many options available – renewable or energy efficient appliances. But do you know which has the best return on investment?
A study by MoneySuperMarket investigated the difference between renewable and efficient home improvements to help homeowners decide the best options based on costs and savings.
Renewable energy offers the highest monthly savings of £28.33 on average a month, but the machinery is expensive. Average set up costs for solar panels and wind turbines is £7,237.73. So even though the monthly bills would be cheaper, it would take over 21 years and three months to pay off the installation before you would see a substantial saving.
Efficiency measures, such as energy saving lightbulbs and reduced-water shower heads offer an average saving of £6.92 a month. The initial average cost is £762.59, so it would take nine years and two months to pay this off.
Below are options that could save you money today:
- Energy saving light-bulbs – Fitting your home with energy saving bulbs would cost around £51.80 with a financial saving of up to £27.13 a month. This means it will pay for itself after two months.
- Lagging jackets – An investment of £15 to insulate your hot water tank could save around £1.67 a month on heating, so costs will be covered after nine months.
- Solar ovens – Solar ovens use the light of the sun to cook food so you don’t need any energy. You could save £9.30 a month. They are a little more expensive at £188.64 on average, and will take a year and eight months to cover their own costs.
- Water saving shower head – Costing around £15.99, you could save 52 pence each month. It will take you two and a half years to pay off this investment.
- Cavity Insulation – You could save over £10 per month on energy bills if you insulate your home correctly. With an installation fee of £466, you’ll see a return on investment after three years and seven months.
Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Energy bills are one of the most significant regular payments made by any household, regardless of your living situation. If you’re looking to make some savings, you don’t have to make big changes to your home – simply switching to energy saving lightbulbs can be a good starting point.
“As a first step, it’s always worth reviewing your energy provider to see if you can save money without spending anything. Taking the time to search for a more competitive tariff can save you £250 a year or more.”
This research shows that you could pay off the installation costs of efficient homes 12 years faster than if you used renewable energy. And according to MoneySuperMarket, a solar oven is the only renewable energy technique to receive a return of investment in under five years.