Matthew Ashton

Written by

Matthew Ashton

4 minute read

Updated 10th April 2024

Environmental awareness is on the rise, increasing the demand for eco-friendly high-value home improvements. In this article, we look at some distinct and impactful home improvements that contribute to a more sustainable future. 

Solar panel installation

Solar energy harnesses power from the sun and is easily the most promising solution for sustainable power. Installing solar panels is an eco-renovation that could significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Traditional energy sources tend to produce higher greenhouse gas emissions – solar power, on the other hand, produces much lower emissions, which in turn contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment.

Homeowners no longer have to rely on conventional energy grids, which makes potential power outages, and fluctuations much less of a worry. There is also the potential for substantial savings on your energy bills – the initial investment in solar panels pays off over time.

However, it is advisable to consider the downsides of solar panel installation. The initial cost of purchasing and installing solar panels can be a significant barrier for some homeowners. That being said, government incentives and rebates aim to reduce this burden, making it one of the most accessible green home improvements.

External factors, such as weather conditions and geographical location, can also impact the effectiveness of solar panels. In areas with limited sunlight or at specific times of the year, the energy output may be less consistent.

For effective solar panel installation, several considerations should be taken into account. The angle of the roof and its exposure to sunlight are key factors in maximising energy absorbance. South-facing homes receive the most sunlight throughout the day, which increases the performance of solar panels. Homeowners should also have a professional assess their roof’s structure to ensure that it can support the weight of the installation.

Smart home technology integration

The addition of smart home technology makes sustainable living easier than ever. These devices allow you to remotely monitor and control what’s going on in your home.

Smart appliances are designed to be energy efficient by reducing the environmental impact of household activities. Most appliances, from refrigerators to washing machines, can be purchased in models that have sensors and automation features to improve their performance while conserving energy.

Smart thermostats are a popular choice in eco-friendly home technology – these devices can be used to remotely control temperature. They can work autonomously by using advanced algorithms to adjust heating and cooling, based on occupancy patterns and external weather conditions. This reduces unnecessary energy use and lowers utility bills, while also lowering your environmental footprint.

Rainwater harvesting systems

Rainwater harvesting provides a simple but effective solution for dealing with water droughts and issues with water accessibility. Rainwater is collected and stored, providing both environmental and economic benefits.

Some of the advantages of rainwater harvesting include the ability to provide a sustainable water supply for gardens and landscaping. Garden plants and shrubs can thrive on rainwater, promoting healthier plant growth in an eco-friendly home. It can also offer a certain amount of independence from traditional water sources, creating self-sufficiency. 

To have an effective rainwater harvesting system, there are several things to think about. Collection methods and storage options vary, ranging from simple rain barrels to more advanced cisterns. Proper filtration and purification methods are crucial for ensuring that the collected rainwater is safe for use, especially if it’s intended for drinking. You will also need to follow guidelines for distilling or disinfecting the collected water before it is suitable to drink. 

Wind Turbines

Some high-value home insurance clients are installing wind turbines on their land to offset energy costs for current and future generations. Wind turbines are typically covered within a high-value home insurance policy wording as standard – as they fall within the definition of the building. If you chose to install a wind turbine during your policy period, we’d recommend to call your insurance broker confirming the details of the cost, location and time it will take to install.

The impact on insurance

While eco-friendly renovations offer multiple advantages, it’s crucial to consider the implications they might have on your home insurance.

Renovations can increase the value of your property, which is often the main motivation for homeowners. However, failing to update your insurance coverage may lead to issues down the line. Having the right renovation insurance can help you make sure that home improvements, such as solar panel installations or smart home technology integrations, are fully protected. This proactive step offers financial security in case of unexpected damage during the renovation process.

More and more insurance providers are recognising the positive impact of sustainable renovations on home safety and energy efficiency, as reflected in the current approach to underwriting.

If you’re considering non-structural, eco-home renovations to your property, check your high-value home insurance product or call your insurance provider for details on cover.

As always, transparency and communication are essential. Keep your insurer informed about any green home renovations you’re planning, and enquire about potential adjustments to your coverage. This guarantees that your insurance evolves with your home, providing comprehensive protection for both your property and your sustainable investments.

Renovation insurance for your project

If you’re planning to renovate your house, get in touch with our team of experts to make sure that your property is covered in case of any issues or damages.

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Superb customer service, excellent depth of knowledge about the products. About to embark on a big building/home renovation project and didn’t know where to start, so grateful someone recommended Stanhope to me. Will absolutely use them again in future and recommend without hesitation. 5 stars.

Verified Reviewer, February 2024

Written by Matthew Ashton

I started working in the insurance industry in 2004. Four years later, I left to focus on theological studies, working as a youth worker and then as a ministry director in Seattle, USA. When returning to the UK, I had an opportunity to work for the late Andrew Marchington. I joined his firm as a sales advisor when it had around ten staff members. Within three years, I was Head of Ops with a staff team of over 30 people. After a chance encounter in 2019 with Rachel Living and Will Cooper, I co-started Stanhope to build a high-value home, luxury watch, and jewellery broker synonymous with trust. I love being with Donna, my wife, and four kids when not working, cramming in the odd row, or running when I can. I am fortunate to love what I do and consider it a blessing to grow the Stanhope brand.

Matthew Ashton

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