By John Grainger, Property editor
How green is your home? The scale ranges from the unimproved, draughty pile, right through to the purpose-built eco-home (turf roof optional).
Most of us live somewhere in between, although it has to be said, that’s not usually very near the green end of the spectrum.
Yet ever more people are realising that environmentally-friendly homes are not only a good idea from an ideological point of view, but that they can also end up costing much less.
Air-source heat-pumps, for example, extract warmth from the air and can result in energy savings of up to 40 per cent, while ground-source heat-pumps, which use heat from the soil, can reduce energy bills by as much as 60 per cent.
In both cases, there may be grants to help with installation costs and owners can make money through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.
Solar energy also cuts down on energy bills, and the government’s Feed-In Tariffs (FiTs), which pay you for every unit of electricity you generate, mean that solar panels can yield a four-fold return on investment – tax-free – over their lifetime.
The following four properties all benefit from green energy improvements, and all are currently for sale in our area.
Number 34 Marston Way is a detached house occupying a corner position off Spofforth Hill in Wetherby.
The four-bedroom property is well- presented and has been sympathetically extended.
Importantly, it is double-glazed throughout and has solar-panel heating, which supplements its gas central heating.
Number 5 The Beeches is a detached family house with five or six bedrooms, three reception rooms, walled garden and an attached double garage.
Being a brand-new house, it has been built according to a green ethos with regard to energy usage. Domestic hot water, underfloor heating to the ground floor and radiators to the first and second floors are all powered by a ground-source heat-pump which is registered to recoup around £18,000 in government money over the next 18 years, i.e. £1,000 a year.
Scarah Barn is a detached family home adjacent to the Ripley Estate, with gorgeous views of the lake and castle.
Built around three sides of a central courtyard, it has six bedrooms and a one-bedroom annexe that could be used as a suite for a dependent relative, with a lobby, lounge, bedroom and wet room.
In addition to its limestone floors and internal oak doors, it also has hardwood sealed-unit double-glazing, an air-source heat-pump and underfloor heating.
Finally, 53 Rutland Drive is a five-bedroom contemporary home set in landscaped gardens on the Duchy estate in Harrogate.
It has five bedrooms and three reception rooms (currently used as a lounge, cinema room and children’s play-room), a garden and garage.
Its state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings include an integrated remote-controlled entertainment system and air-source heat-pump powering individually-zoned under-floor heating throughout the entire property.