Adding Value to your Home through Energy-Efficient Features27 May 2024

In an age where sustainability is not just a buzzword, but a way of life, homeowners and real estate enthusiasts are increasingly searching for properties that merge efficiency with comfort. Investing in energy-efficient features doesn’t only save the planet—it also has a significant bearing on the desirability and value of your property. As we near winter, it’s a great time to consider all the options available to you to save the planet and your wallet.

1. Energy-Efficient Appliances and Systems
Modern buyers are keen on seeing energy star-rated appliances and systems such as air-venting, water heaters, and refrigerators. These items can lead to noticeable reductions in utility bills, which is an immediate and calculable return on investment for new homeowners. The general expectation for high efficiency is only going to increase, making these features a real conversation starter in any viewing.

2. Water-Saving Fixtures
Water scarcity is a significant environmental concern, making water-saving features like lowflow toilets, showerheads, and faucets advantageous when selling or renting. Such fixtures not only save resources but also reduce utility costs and can sometimes even lead to advantageous tax incentives. Real estate that includes these features signals a conscientious approach to home living.

3. Thorough Insulation and Sealing Solutions
Homeowners throughout New Zealand understand the extremes of our climate, so insulation is a key player in providing comfort and slashing energy bills. Densely packed insulation in the floors, walls, and attic can minimise heat transfer, while efficient sealing—such as weather-strips on windows and doors, prevents air leaks. These not only maintain a consistent temperature within the home but also demonstrate a forward-thinking approach that buyers crave.

4. Energy-Efficient Windows and Skylights
Think high-performance glazing, low-E coatings, and window tints—features that keep your house temperate without overworking your air-venting system. Not to mention, natural light from skylights further reduces the need for artificial lighting, which is a welcome boost to both energy savings and mood. Potential buyers love the brightness and modernity these elements bring to a living space.

5. LED Lighting and Smart Controls
Lighting is often the low-hanging fruit when it comes to energy conservation and is very attractive in a property sale. LED lights consume less energy and have a longer lifespan, while smart systems enable users to control lighting remotely and optimise usage. Together, they offer significant energy savings as well as the allure of innovation and convenience.

6. Alternative Energy Sources
The addition of solar panels or wind turbines can transform a home's energy footprint, potentially leading to net-zero or even energy-positive living. In a usual sunny New Zealand summer, solar power is a particularly compelling option and is increasingly becoming a norm. Homebuyers see these installations not just as cost-saving but as a definitive step towards a sustainable future.

7. Green roofs and walls
Green roofs and walls are not only aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly, but they also provide natural insulation, cooling, and even some food production. They make a strong statement about a home's ecological impact and can greatly enhance a property's value and appeal.

8. Efficient Landscaping and Irrigation
Homebuyers are increasingly recognising the value of efficient landscapes that require less maintenance and water. Native, drought-resistant plants, mulching, and drip irrigation systems are attractive for their cost-saving benefits and their low-impact connection with local ecosystems.

9. Home Automation and Control Systems
Smart home technology is evolving at a rapid pace, offering systems that manage and monitor energy usage across multiple domains of home life. From smart thermostats and energy monitor displays to automated systems that adjust lighting and temperature, these features make a home both efficient and contemporary.

10. Certification and Documentation
Lastly, it's not just about what you have in your home that matters, but also how you can prove it. Homes with official certifications, energy audits, or well-documented energy performance ratings carry a significant advantage when it comes to establishing trust with potential buyers. It provides them with a clear understanding of what to expect regarding energy consumption and costs.

When considering energy-efficient upgrades, it's important to weigh the costs and benefits. Some upgrades come with immediate savings, while others, like solar panels, may require a longer-term view. However, with the right blend of features and forward planning, every efficient upgrade is a step towards a valuable investment that pays off in comfort, cost savings, and property value.

Harcourts is committed to helping you understand and maximise the potential of your property. Whether you're selling, buying, or simply looking to enhance your home or investment, we are here to guide you through every step. Connect with us today to discuss how you can make your home an energy-efficient standout in the market.