Scots willing to pay more for a ‘green’ home

Peter Gregson and his new solar panel
Peter Gregson and his new solar panel

By Cara Sulieman

SOME old style light-bulbs will be banished from shop shelves from today(Tues).

New EU laws see first 100w incandescent bulbs disappear from stores as part of a gradual phasing out of all energy heavy lighting.

But it seems most Scots would go a step further and pay more for a house if it were fitted out with green energy gadgets.

A new survey has found that almost half the population would spend more for a house that has renewable energy sources.

“As attractive as a new kitchen”

The survey – carried out by the Energy Saving Trust – revealed that nearly half of Scots are put off renewable energy by the price.

But the organisation insists that it doesn’t have to be that expensive.

Mike Thornton, Director, Scotland, for the Energy Saving Trust, said: “It seems Scots are willing to pay more for a home with a renewable energy source so investing in a solar panel or a wind turbine could add to the resale value of a property and could be as attractive to house hunters as a new kitchen or solid wood floors.

“There are already services available, such as the Energy Saving Scotland home renewables advice service funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust. Many people are interested in installing renewables but don’t know where to start which is where the renewables advice service can help.

“A trained adviser will carry out a home visit and provide expert advice on which system might be suitable and help with technical and planning issues and queries on grants.”

“Easy way to keep warm”

Peter Gregson and his family recently installed solar panels on their house in Edinburgh and say they are already feeling the benefits.

The 51-year-old said: “When we moved into this property nine years ago the first thing we did was insulate it.

“As time has gone by we have continued to improve our insulation because it is an easy way to keep warmth in the home.

“The idea of getting free energy from the sun appealed to me – and it would be stupid not to take advantage of our natural resources.”

Although Peter and his wife Carol, 41, paid £4,000 to install the panels, the government paid £1,300 towards it.


And with savings of £140 a year on bills, it won’t be long before the family start to feel the financial benefits.

Peter added: “Scotland is actually very well suited to solar energy as even when it is cloudy, which is fairly often, the system still produces really hot water.

“I get great satisfaction knowing the water we use has been heated by the sun and that wherever we are the system is always working and saving us money.”

Switching to greener lighting is just another step suggested towards eco living promoted by the bulb ban introduced from today.

“Nearly as wasteful”

WWF Scotland’s Director, Dr Richard Dixon, said: “In the battle to tackle climate change, the phase-out of energy wasting light bulbs is very welcome.

“Getting rid of incandescents is a no-brainer, but most halogens are nearly as wasteful.

“We therefore need to see European governments drive the market so that all energy wasting lighting is phased out.”

It seems that cash-strapped Scots agree, and would be prepared to splash out more for a house if it was fitted with green energy gadgets.

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