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The struggle for historic Britain to go green

This recent article in The Economist on “Historic Bath’s struggle to be both green and pleasant” uses one of the most iconic areas of in Britain to highlight what is really a national issue, and when it comes to getting the balance between being green and maintaining the historical beauty, the struggle for investors and landlords is real.

As stated in the article, Britain contains the oldest housing stock in Europe, with one in five homes more than 100 years old, and period features often protected by law. But with the built environment responsible for as much as 40% of CO2 emissions, it is no wonder it is coming under attack in the face of national efforts to cut carbon emissions.

There is an onus on developers to take the lead in ensuring they are not just complying with efficiency legislation, but moving ahead of it. However, what does this mean when it clashes with the UK’s attempt to preserve its heritage?

For existing buildings, it is wise for property investors to factor the cost of energy efficiency measures into new investment decisions – and on a whole life cycle basis, not just as an upfront or one-off cost.

And if the red-tape issues outlined in The Economist article is anything to go by, investors should also factor in the cost of time (and additional investment) in cutting through the bureaucracy surrounding the refurbishment and installing of green initiatives within heritage buildings.

However, it is not all doom and gloom.

With respect to landlords and tenants, there is a long-term value in investing in energy saving measures now. For example, adding a smart thermostat such as Tado to a property, not only saves CO2 and money for the tenant, but will future-proof the property when it comes to securing new tenants in the long-term.

Thinking of investing?

Good advice before taking the leap into investing in heritage buildings or Britain’s historical areas can protect your finances in the long-term.

Read the full article from The Economist here

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