energy efficiency Archives - Urban Union Ltd

Our energy efficient home options can help you with a green mortgage

Recently launched, green mortgages are government supported loans with eco-conscious incentives designed to help decarbonise the UK’s ageing housing stock by imposing targets for mortgage lenders.

Essentially this means that as a direct result of having a high energy efficiency rating on a home, the bank would offer you either a lower interest rate or an increased loan amount prior to purchase – allowing them to meet the government’s targets.


energy performance certificate explained

Energy efficiency ratings explained

This is all determined via the home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which every home must have when it is built, sold or rented. This gives the property an energy efficiency rating from A or 100 (most efficient) to G or 0 (least efficient), which is valid for a total of 10 years.

New-build homes will have a Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) before they’re finished, providing you with a predicted energy efficiency rating that you’ll need to confirm any mortgage.

All Urban Union homes are provided with this prior to completion, with our current properties achieving some of the highest energy efficiency ratings available.

energy efficient properties can help you get a green mortgage


Green Mortgage deals explained

Intrigued? Let us highlight the savings you could be making with a green mortgage on an energy efficient home, using Barclays as a lender example.

You would be applicable to apply for a Barclays Green Home Mortgage if you’re buying a new-build property directly from the builder or developer – which would be the case if you were purchasing an Urban Union home.

Their new Green Mortgage product is available at a 90% LTV on a 5 year fixed rate deal. However it is important to note that this product would only be provided through specialist leading mortgage brokers, who can be recommended to you by Barclays.

 An example of how payment could look would be as follows:

  •  Purchase price: £300,000
  • Deposit: £30,000
  • Mortgage terms: 35 years

Amount to pay – £1,311.44 per month. Rate 4.7%, 5 year fixed product

Working out cheaper in most cases than other mortgage options, you will not only save money via your lower energy bills going green but also in your monthly re-payments.


New energy efficient homes qualify for green mortgages


Interested in finding out more about our homes and green mortgages?

Our sales team are on hand to advise you of the energy efficient homes that we currently have available at Pollokshaws Living, Pennywell living and Laurieston Living.

As well as this, we regularly invite and collaborate with the Mortgage Advice Bureau at our events, meaning we can provide you with easy access to expert knowledge and information.

Energy Efficiency as Standard

Moreover, by being close to parks, amenities, and exceptional public transport links, you’ll have less reliance on the car.

So what makes our properties at Pennywell Living so energy-efficient?

  • Hi-efficient combi boiler
  • Fully insulated
  • High performance double glazed windows
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Less reliance on the car
  • Access to ‘Green’ mortgage deals

You’ll also have friendly neighbours, a vibrant community, super-fast connectivity and a great location. Your perfect easy-to-manage, energy-efficient home is now available at Pennywell Living in Edinburgh.

Here are some other ways you could save money on your bills this winter:

Use LED lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs last longer than standard bulbs and are efficient, too – helping to keep your energy consumption down. This is especially important in the winter when it’s darker for longer.

Use a microwave and air fryer

An oven uses a lot of electricity, and by switching to an air fryer which heats up straight away and a microwave which can heat food quickly, you’ll save money. Available from £35 in supermarkets.

Turn off appliances

By leaving your electrical items on standby, you will consume energy even though the items aren’t being used. Turn them off at the plug to keep your electricity bills down, including your television, games consoles, computers, printer, lamps and rarely used items. You could also invest in wireless plugs you can control from your mobile phone. When you purchase a new appliance such as a fridge, freezer, computer or monitor, they will give you the energy rating. Try to opt for items that are energy efficient and rated D or above.

Furniture and soft furnishings 

Move your furniture away from the radiators to allow the heat to circulate, and use thick-lined curtains to keep the heat in your rooms and stop it from escaping from the windows. Heated blankets and throws are also energy efficient and let you stay warm without turning your heating on.

Turn your heating down

It sounds obvious that turning your heating and hot water down by just one degree can make a difference to your annual bills.

If you’re considering a more energy-efficient home, take a look at the new homes available at Pennywell Living in Edinburgh.  We have some exceptional one and two-bedroom apartments for sale in various styles. One-bedroom prices start at £169,995, and two-bedroom apartments are from £189,995.

Downsize your life

If your home is too large for you and you want to reduce your monthly outgoings, have you considered downsizing? Downsizing evokes images of older homeowners moving to more manageable homes. But downsizing is for anyone who wants to move to a smaller, energy-efficient property close to a range of amenities.

The thought of moving can be particularly daunting, especially if you have been in your home for a long time and have precious family memories. So, deciding to downsize can be a tough decision. However, it can make a lot of sense if the family have all flown the nest and you are approaching retirement, or you simply want to reduce your outgoings and live close to public transport or amenities.

When you downsize, you could release some of the equity you’ve worked hard to build up, reduce your mortgage repayments and save money by being closer to public transport or amenities. If you choose a new property, you’ll also save money on your energy bills.

Here are some tips for downsizers:

Consider where you want to move to

Do you want to move closer to work, public transport, local parks or amenities? Could you ditch the car by living in a more urban area? Or are you looking for a more rural lifestyle? As well as location, consider the type of property you’re looking for – an older property could need a larger budget to allow for maintenance or decorating costs. In contrast, a new build will enable you to save on maintenance, renovation or energy costs.

Organisation is key

Once you’ve decided to downsize, create a to-do list so you have a clear idea of what exactly needs doing and when. Go through what needs doing in each room – what you can’t live without, what you can and what needs doing before you put your property up for sale. This will help you to see what space you require from your new home – the number of rooms, bathrooms, garage, storage space etc. Writing it down will give you a clear picture of how small you can go. Also, consider how much time you spend outside. Are you a keen gardener? If so, it’s important to find a property with some outside space so you can continue with your hobby.

Sorting out your home

Sorting each room, in turn, will help to avoid chaos and stress whilst still living in your current home. There will be non-negotiable items, either due to practical necessity or sentimental value, but generally, you need to be fairly ruthless if downsizing to a smaller space. If you have a clear idea of how many rooms you will be moving to, this will help you avoid keeping unnecessary items you won’t have space for. If you have items that are beyond repair or haven’t been used for years, either ditch them or find a new home for them. You could gift items to friends or family that would like them or even put them on eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree, giving you some extra cash for your new home. Your new home may require investing in new furniture, so it’s a great opportunity to freshen up your interiors. Measure-up bigger items of furniture you plan to keep, making sure they will fit the floorplan and layout of your new home too.

Do the sums

Long term, downsizing can be a significant cost saver, including lower energy bills, reduced maintenance costs and even a smaller council tax bill. However, there are initial costs to moving that should be factored in, including estate agency, solicitor, conveyancing and removals fees, and LBTT.

If you are thinking of downsizing, take a look at the new homes available at Pennywell Living in Edinburgh.  We have some exceptional one and two-bedroom apartments for sale in various styles. One-bedroom prices start at £169,995, and two-bedroom apartments are from £189,995.

Over lockdown and restrictions, we all spent a lot more time at home. This increased our household bills – and as of October 1st the price of fuel has risen again. Although we are all being given a grant of £66 per month during the winter months, our bills have still increased. With that in mind, here are some things you can do to keep your bills down now and in the future.

Energy Efficient Homes

By living in an energy-efficient home you can save a great deal of money on your fuel bills. By investing in a new, highly efficient home, your utility bills will be kept at a minimum without having to undertake expensive upgrades. All newly built homes are highly energy efficient and will save you a huge amount on your bills compared to an older property.

Nice day? Keep your blinds and curtains open

An easy change which we often overlook is to make the most of the sun’s heat and let natural light into your home. Not only will it reduce the need for electric lighting, you’ll be surprised how much the sun will keep your home warm even if it’s cold outside. This could save around 60% on your bills compared to lighting and heating your home on a good day.

Check light bulbs

By replacing standard lightbulbs with energy-efficient alternatives you could save up to 75% on your energy bill. They use a fraction of the energy compared to normal light bulbs.

Turn off radiators

If you have occasionally used or unused rooms in your house such as a guest bedroom, formal dining room or snug, consider turning off the radiators in those rooms and closing the doors. This will cut down your bills by around 30%. You can also purchase individual radiator thermostats so that you only use the heat that you need and aren’t heating rooms that are rarely used.

Don’t block the radiator

We often push furniture against radiators, but by having something like a sofa pressing up against it, the heat goes into the furniture and not the room. You need a space or around six inches between the radiator and anything close to it so the heat can circulate. This can save about 10% on your energy bill.

Move seating away from external walls

If you are sitting near an external wall, you are more likely to feel the cold in your home and put up the heating. Try and arrange furniture against internal walls and


The problem with a conservatory is that it can be too cold in the winter and very hot in the summer – if this room isn’t being used, make sure that you keep the doors closed when it’s cold outside and if you do have a mainly sunny day in the autumn or spring when you would use the heating, open the adjoining doors. It’s also advisable in winter to put a curtain between the two rooms, and you could look at installing a roof to regulate the temperature.