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Isn’t this just glorious?

Green upgrades could cut UK energy bills by £1,800 a year, finds study
Homeowners can boost property value by average of £10,000, shows research by WWF and ScottishPower

So we need no plans, schemes nor government intervention. Market forces will work here as the switch is clearly and obviously profitable for the individual. Great!

25 thoughts on “Isn’t this just glorious?”

  1. About 15 years ago, when there were subsidies, I got a solar hot water system fitted. It worked in combination with an immersion heater in the hot water tank, and if we exercised a modicum of care (keeping an eye on the temperature in the tank and giving a very short toot of gas when it needed bringing up to temperature; baths and big washing up saved until later in the day) it saved a fortune. I frequently complained to the gas company that I was banking with them even though I was on the lowest monthly payment they allowed.

    We now let that house to tenants. After the agent had measured all the rooms etc. and suggested a rent, I asked him if he had taken the hot water system into consideration. His eyes glazed over, and he said these things were not important.

  2. “Analysis of 5m house sales in England and Wales found that installing an air-source heat pump could increase the value of a home by about £5,000-£8,000, solar panels could increase it by between £1,350 and £5,400 and an electric vehicle charging point could increase it by about £5,000.

    Solar panels could boost householders’ finances by £586 a year through electricity savings and selling surplus back to the grid, the report showed.

    The Energy Saving Trust estimates that solar panels typically cost between £2,900 and £6,700 to install, with heat pumps costing £7,000 to £13,000, and electric vehicle charging points about £1,000.”

    Mid-point of the installation costs gives a total just shy of 16 large. Using the annual savings quoted, the (simple) payback period is a smidgeon south of 9 years.

    The apparent increase in the value of the house is given as 10 large, 5/8ths of the costs. 3/8ths, about 6 grand, has mysteriously gone missing.

    This may be a Clue.

    Also, 5m transactions would be about 7~8 years worth, and I suspect that the sample size of dwellings with these solutions within the set is very, very small, so it’s bollocks anyway.

  3. This is the sort of stuff you do when you’re replacing the existing stuff anyway because it’s dead. I ripped up my roof and stuffed it full of insulation in the inaccessible parts *because* I was ripping up my roof *anyway* because it was falling apart. You don’t rip up a perfectly good roof to do this.

  4. Adding an electric car charging point (cost: ca. £1k) increases the value of a house by £5k. No — because anyone who wants one can fit one for about a grand, so they’re not going to pay £5k extra for a house with one.

  5. If heat pumps are so wonderful why aren’t electric cars fitted with one to provide the heating?

  6. Heat pumps, solar panels and a EV charge point all require a big house with land. These houses are quite desirable anyway. I wonder how many owners of million pound houses are willing to put up with the disruption for a 1% unrealised capital gain.

  7. “Analysis of 5m house sales in England and Wales found that installing an air-source heat pump could increase the value of a home by about £5,000-£8,000, solar panels could increase it by between £1,350 and £5,400 and an electric vehicle charging point could increase it by about £5,000.”

    Even if we accept those figures at face value, they are what they are because hardly any of those 5 million houses had those fancy things. If most houses had them they wouldn’t be special and wouldn’t add much value.

  8. “… could cut UK energy bills … heat pump could increase … solar panels could increase … charging point could increase … Solar panels could boost”

    For “could” above add “but wont”. And quite possibly add “will cost a lot more over the long run otherwise everybody and his dog would be rushing in to get all this stuff fitted.”

    The ‘experts’ keep coming out with all this “solar is cheap as chips” stuff but very few people seem in a mad rush to take advantage. Must be all that Russian disinformation stopping them and nothing at all to do with the fact that the ‘experts’ promoting this stuff have some sort of ulterior motive.

  9. A study by WWF and ScottishPower has found that installing green technologies could reduce energy bills by up to £1,878 a year and cut home carbon emissions by more than 95% over the lifetime of their installation

    The key words are “could” and “over the lifetime of their installation”.

  10. I wonder how many owners of million pound houses are willing to put up with the disruption for a 1% unrealised capital gain.

    Of those whose finances comfortably cover their property, probably a fairly high proportion. People put up with disruption for all kinds of improvements (driveways, decorating, landscaping) that don’t add much to the resale value of the house but increase their lifestyle satisfaction. Especially if there’s a high status aspect.

  11. The key words are “could” and “over the lifetime of their installation”.

    “up to” and “as much as” say “hold my beer”.

  12. Wonder how they’re measuring “lifetime of an installation”?

    We had to replace our (14 year old) gas boiler a couple of years ago. Looked at heat pumps then – upwards of £10k and no more than a 2 year warranty from any manufacturer. Funnily enough, ended up going for a (relatively fancy) gas boiler for ~£2k fitted that came with a 10 year manufacturer warranty.

  13. John – Anybody might get the impression that Scottish Power and the WWF aren’t actually dispassionate scientific experts, but instead are trying to sell us something.

  14. Thanks, DW.

    “Heat pumps are super-efficient, but they are known to not work as well in extreme cold (around -15C or 5F and below).”

    So they work except when you need them most.

    “Electrek’s Take …

    For owners Model 3 and Model Y vehicles with heat pumps in cold weather regions, you should really take this into consideration when going on longer road trips as there’s a real danger in being stuck somewhere without heat.

    Be prepared.”

    All us ex-Wolf Cubs are always prepared, matey.

  15. “… heat pumps costing £7,000 to £13,000….”

    Some fairly massive assumptions in there, such as

    1. You can get access to fit it
    2. You have spare land for ground source (and space for air source)
    3. You don’t mind the noise
    4. You don’t have to replumb the house, remove/replace all the radiators and then make good the installation damage
    5. You can find a competent contractor to fit it
    6. You can find a competent contractor to maintain it
    7. The cost of electricity to power it isn’t going up exponentially (don’t tell me, you can fit solar panels for that……)

    Average house moves are every five years or so in the early years before the final home is found- will anyone install something that won’t pay for itself in that time? Will anyone take on an installation that they didn’t purchase and for which the original contractor/manufacturer is probably long gone? What landlord would take on this level of capital expenditure?

  16. Starfish – yeah, the Department of Housing or whatever it’s called gives the average term/tenure in a house as being 15 years, probably skewed downwards a tad, on the grounds that when the dustbins turn up (average age for first time mothers being 33), the family is tied to the local nurseries/primaries/secondaries/colleges for what? Sixteen to eighteen years plus, probably longer with 50% of the cohort going on to Uni.

    So the family home isn’t going to be sold until the parents are mid-fifties or later (ignoring life events and whatnot). So the assumption has to be that the spend isn’t going to happen until that move takes place, or about halfway through the existing term.

    Why leave cash on the table for the next buyer?

  17. “3. You don’t mind the noise”

    And what about the neighbours? Supposing THEY don’t like having their sleep disturbed by your “Green” virtue signalling…

  18. @ Sam Vara
    Solar hot water systems more than pay for themselves without subsidies (we’ve had ours twenty-five years since before subsidies were introduced) but nobody told Ed Miliband that they worked better than solar PV and were the best way to reduce CO2 emissions.

  19. I recently installed an air-source heat pump for the pool, after the gas boiler went phut. It cost twice as much as a gas replacement boiler, but looks to be significantly cheaper to run, though it’s quite noisy (we’re in a very quiet rural location, I don’t think it would be very noticeable in a city) and the output is around 30°C, so fine for a pool, but less so for heating a dwelling. The guys who fitted it told me that ground-source heat pumps become increasingly ineffective during cold weather as they freeze the ground around them.

  20. Wasn’t there a recent report looking at real life data for heat pumps which conclude you needed perfect conditions and install and maintenance had to be perfect etc, so basically no way to achieve stated gains in the real world

  21. BniC, probably, seems likely as it’s going to be the same problem as solar PV. Optimum roof angle for the latitude, a roof that actually faces south.

    Not got those, not going to get the claimed performance.

  22. Some bloke on't t'internet

    Why don’t homeowners rush to install all these things without grants/subsidies/coercion ?
    Well most of us have things called priorities about what to spend our limited cash on – and also don’t have £10k – £20k of cash “just lying around”. So there can be considerations between actually living moderately comfortably now or living like a pauper for “a few years” until the savings catch up with what we’ve shelled out.
    What isn’t mentioned is that some of these measures can actually devalue a property. For example, the EPC system is fundamentally broken such that replacing the old gas boiler with a new efficient heat pump can LOWER the EPC rating – possibly making the difference between being legal to rent and not legal to rent. So let’s see, why would a landlord spend a load of money (which won’t be tax deductible until we sell, and only then if it’s still in place) on something that could make it illegal to rent the property out ?
    And if you made the mistake of going with one of those snake oil installers (that I think have thankfully disappeared along with FITS for new installs*) of “rent a roof” installations – good luck trying to sell the property at all without buying out the contract first.

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