green is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a great way to
enhance the value of your property.
"In previous years property experts would have agreed that improvements
to a home should focus on the kitchen and bathroom so as to add the most
value to a property," says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern
Africa. "However, things have changed significantly over the last
few years as the cost of water and electricity continues to rise and the
realities of global warming become ever more evident. And it is for this
very reason that buyers and tenants alike place more value on eco-friendly
properties and green lifestyles," he says.
Goslett provides his top ten tips for budget-friendly improvements to
- Water heating consumes almost 50 percent of the electricity used in
a household. Install a geyser blanket to reduce heat loss and reduce
the temperature of the geyser to 60°C. (
- Install a geyser thermometer which will regulate the heating of the
geyser to correspond to your schedule, instead of keeping the water
at boiling point all day.
- Install solar panels for water heating. Find out from your municipality
regarding the free installations driven by the Department of Energy,
use the Eskom rebates available to reduce the costs or use a solar water
heater supplier that offers finance as part of their service.
- Install energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) throughout
your home by participating in Eskoms CFL exchange programme in
which your old, less efficient incandescent bulbs can be exchanged for
CFLs free of charge.
- Energy-saving shower heads not only look modern and require no maintenance,
but also operate 48 percent more efficiently than an average shower
head which results in significant water and heating cost savings.
- Every flush of the toilet uses 11 litres of water. Put a water saving
device into the toilet cistern or make your own with a brick or a plastic
bottle filled with sand.
- Install a pump system that will allow you to use grey water from the
bath, shower and washing machine to water your garden.
- Consider ceiling insulation as it can reduce heat losses through the
roof by 80 percent, reducing both heating and cooling bills.
- Install ceiling fans, double-glazed windows and well-positioned awnings
to keep your home cool during the hot summer months.
- Plant only indigenous plants in your garden. They consume very little
water and require minimal maintenance.
He further advises home owners to keep all invoices and to point out
the renovations to their estate agent when listing their property for
sale or for rent as it will help the estate agent to determine the selling
price and/or monthly rental income of the property.