Your Most Valuable Sustainable Investment

By Rebecca Scaife

Published on: February 16, 2023

ESG / Ethical Investing

We seem to have struck a chord with a number of people recently when we wrote our thoughts on Sustainable Investing and how we see it as only one element of overall sustainability.

Many investors want to align their investment decisions with their personal values. However, the best starting point may not be scrutinising the various sustainable investment funds on offer.

Instead, the answer may be that your most valuable sustainable investment is your own home.

We ran a few figures through this handy calculator on the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) website and looked at an example of upgrading a detached BER F rated home, that is currently using oil as its primary energy source, to become a B2 rated home. The results of this are estimated as:

  • A saving of 53% on total energy bills – this is estimated at about €2,000 each year.
  • A 73% reduction in energy consumption – now this is delivering real sustainability benefits!
  • A 22% improvement in comfort levels – it’s hard to put a price on this.
  • A 68% reduction in carbon emissions – great for the environment.
  • A 55% improvement in indoor air quality – great for your health.

Of course, there are costs involved in upgrading a house to achieve these positive returns. However, it’s also worth noting that there are grants available that will defray some of these costs.

We know many investors want to improve the future outlook for the planet for the next generation. Maybe the best ‘bang for your buck’ at this point in time is through increasing the efficiency of your home, using fewer fossil fuels, and adding renewable energy systems.

Now we certainly don’t hold ourselves out as any sort of experts when it comes to the efficiency of buildings, in fact we always recommend to clients that they get professional advice from an architect or a home energy advisor.

While updating your home and making it more energy efficient can seem straightforward, there are subtle differences depending on the building, aspect, and circumstances. Employing an expert in this area might seem like an extravagance. However, they are the people who will guide you through the home upgrades, the available grants, and help to maximise your resources, in order to increase the comfort of your home and to reduce your energy bills.

Looking at the energy efficiency of your home might be a single strand of your overall sustainable investing strategy. You might use some of your financial resources to upgrade your house, while investing the rest in an investment solution that is also aligned with your personal values of sustainability.

To review your finances and discuss various options for investing your cash schedule a call

Download our Sustainable Investing Guide