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Home » Energy saving

How much do you have to invest to go green?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 Loading Add to favourites  No Comment

electric car chargingWhile my passion is combining frugality with sustainable living, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a wishlist of ‘one day’ investment that would flex the plastic somewhat!

On the blog I talk about eating well on a budget, those tiny ‘no brainer’ things you can do to reduce your impact on the earth and little-known ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

But today I’m going to talk about the big boys that can make a difference and take a look at the costs, as well as the savings:

Electric cars

The average modern electric car starts at around £18,000 and will give between 100-300 miles range.

Once you’ve made the investment, the savings start adding up when out and about: Charging an electric car at home costs about £3.00 for a full charge which equates to around 2p per mile.  My car currently gives me 25 miles to the gallon which is 22p per mile.

So fully charging a car such as a 30kW Nissan LEAF will cost about £3.00 and give you about 150 miles of range.

Solar panels

The prices for solar panels vary enormously, but the average family home needs an installation that will cost from £6,000.

Once installed, they can either be used as they supply electricity (i.e. throughout the day), or, if you are out, the electricity can be fed into the grid, which you will get paid for. Alternatively, you can set up a different system where electricity generated is stored in batteries, which means you can use it when the sun has set for the day!

The Energy Saving Trust estimates a typical 4kWh system can knock off around £70 from a family’s bills each year, so the these are definitely a long-term investment. In fact, a typical house breaks even in 21 years.


We heat our home with a wood stove, but a biomass pellet stove is something I’d really love! However, an automatically fed pellet boiler costs between £9,000 and £21,000 and pellets cost around £220 per tonne.

Once up and running, you can save anywhere between £225 and £990 per year, depending on which system you’re replacing.

Making it all add up

We might not all have a spare few thousand pounds lying around, so how can you make this work for you financially?

Sadly grants are few and far between now. The Government has stopped funding the Green Deal Finance Company, so you’ll need to look at other ways of funding.

With an electric car you could pool resources with local friends or neighbours. By purchasing a car between you and installing just one charging point, you’ll slash your bills and share the savings.

Automated pellet stoves are a big investment, but there are other options, such as a wood burning stove. Ours cost £1600 and provides hot water and heats the radiators. Wood can be expensive, but if you live in the right area you may be able to make friends with a friendly farmer who hasn’t got time to clear their land of dead wood!

Free solar panel installations are not very common any more since cuts to the Feed In Tariff. If you’re determined to make an investment for your family or to reduce your carbon footprint, a range of Quick Loans are available.

What about you? Do you have solar panels, an electric car or biomass heating?


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