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So, how do you make sure choosing green technology for your home is a sound investment?

Get Impartial Advice

Before embarking on a project – whether it’s a new build, renovation or a smaller project, getting unbiased and clear information is essential. Be aware that if you contact companies who supply renewable technology and energy saving modifications, they have a vested interest in getting a sale, so it is best to seek advice from someone who can give you just the facts.

The Scottish Government funds free specialist advice either over the phone or in your home. Advisors carry out a thorough assessment and provide a written report to help you weigh up all your options – from deciding which tech or materials to use, to accessing financial support and even planning considerations.

Call your local Home Energy Scotland advice centre on 0808 808 2282.

Do your Sums

While you’re getting advice, it’s a good idea to check what funding is available, and look into financial support that you may qualify for, depending on which technology you invest in. Households in Scotland can apply for a Government-backed interest free loan for a range of home improvements that increase a property’s energy efficiency. In some cases grant funding is also available.

You should also factor in income from incentives such as the Feed-in Tariff and the Domestic Renewables Heat Incentive when doing your calculations. While choosing energy-efficient technology can mean shelling out more up front, it could work out better long term – and don’t forget the savings you’ll make on your energy bills.

Speak to Someone Who’s Done it Before

Before you take the plunge, you can check out what other real householders say about living with green technology using the Green Homes Network. The Energy Saving Trust hosts an online searchable network of properties that you can actually visit in person.

The network members are happy to chat and share their experiences with you, making it easier to decide if a particular system is the right choice. To search, visit http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/green-homes-network

Time it Right

They say there’s no time like the present – but sometimes it can be prudent to wait and do several jobs together. For instance, if your kitchen and heating both need replaced, minimise upheaval by trying to do the work in the right order. You don’t want to get your tiles replaced in your new kitchen, only to find that the plumber needs to lift them to access pipes!

Get the timing right – installers and traders will usually be happy to liaise and advise you on the best approach. You’ll probably save money and you’ll cut down on disruption too.

Choose the Best Company for the Job

These days, consumer reviews play a big part when searching for products and services. Finding an installer for your energy saving home improvement is no different. For home renewables systems, the Energy Saving Trust recommends sticking to companies that are certified through the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). You can search for, and read reviews of, MCS companies operating in Scotland using the Renewables Installer Finder. Visit: rif.est.org.uk

Home Energy Scotland can advise you on consumer bodies and getting quotes for other work too, including heating, glazing and insulation. As a rule of thumb, it’s always good to get at least three quotes before you proceed – and remember cheaper isn’t always better.

For free impartial advice call Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 and speak to your local advice centre. 

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