Planning to sell or rent out your home? Either way, you’re likely looking for ways to increase the property value, right? Good news. Making some simple changes that boost your home’s energy rating could increase the sale price (or rent) significantly.
It’s all in the stars
These days, new homes in most states of Australia must be rated at least six stars when it comes to energy efficiency. Many are built to seven stars.
Yet older homes lack this star power. In fact, houses built in the 1990s might average a paltry one star on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) scale.
So where do the stars come from? The NatHERS star rating system is out of ten. It assesses how much energy is needed to heat or cool the home – taking into account things like the local climate, construction, orientation, building materials, insulation, ventilation and more. The more stars a home scores, the easier it is to keep the interior temperature comfortable without relying on energy-guzzling air conditioners or heaters.
How to increase your home’s star power
There are many ways you can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Some are quick and inexpensive fixes; others more significant. Before you put your home on the market, you might want to weigh up the cost versus financial benefit of various energy saving strategies – obviously there are many environmental benefits to improving your home’s energy efficiency, but you may be less inclined to spend a large amount like $50,000 to boost your home’s star power if it will only increase the sale price by $30,000.
Proven ways to improve the energy efficiency of older homes include:
- Switching to double glazing on the windows
- Installing solar panels on the roof
- Replacing an old, inefficient hot water system
- Adding insulation to the ceiling, wall or floor cavities
- Draught-proofing the windows and doors
- Adding awnings or window furnishings to reduce the glare from the hot summer sun
- Installing modern power outlets with USB ports to give future owners more power choices
Some of the fixes above are easily seen by prospective buyers. But others, like extra insulation or solar panels hidden atop a roof, may be harder to spot. Make sure that you advertise your home’s energy features when you list it for sale or rent.
The investment pays off
Researchers at the University of Melbourne crunched the numbers on 42,000 house sales in the ACT from 2011 to 2016. They found that five- and six-star homes were worth 2% and 2.4% more than one-star homes, and homes with seven stars were worth an extra 9.4%.
It’s a similar story overseas. A 2013 UK study found that improving a home’s energy rating pays off. The study – conducted by the Department of Energy & Climate Change – found that English properties which had been given an energy makeover increased in value by up to 14% on average across England, and by up to 38% in some parts of the country.
Clearly, potential home buyers are willing to pay more for an energy efficient home. The bottom line? Boosting the energy efficiency of your home could pay off significantly – saving you money on your energy bills before the sale and making the property more attractive to potential buyers when it hits the market.
It pays to be with AGL. View electricity and gas plans here.