Climate change is driving forward, and homeowners also need to rethink how to prepare their property for the future and make it climate neutral. The same is true for your own vacation home: there are many things that need to be considered when making the switch. Whether it’s heating, electricity supply or renovation: If owners go for climate neutrality, the investment can pay off in the long term – and have a positive impact on the environment. A few tips should be followed to ensure that the project of climate-neutral vacation accommodation is a success.
- A successful project requires forward-looking planning
Germany’s homeowners play an important role in reducing CO₂ emissions. To make a flawless transition, owners should start planning as soon as possible. After all, there are several challenges that homeowners must overcome. Not only does the transition to a carbon-neutral vacation home take some time, it also requires labor and materials. In times of a shortage of skilled labor and raw materials, it’s even more significant to progress the project gradually and plan ahead for the use of skilled labor.
- Observe political deadlines
Germany is to become climate-neutral by 2045. Around 20 years therefore remain, but there are some political measures that will be implemented earlier. One likely example is the passing of the planned heating law: according to this, homeowners in Germany will be obligated to operate heating systems installed in new buildings or renovations with renewable energies from 2024. This also applies to vacation homes in Germany. Such deadlines should also be observed when remodeling.
- Keeping an eye on the budget
In order for Germany and Europe to become climate-neutral, the EU, the federal government, the states and local authorities are offering subsidies that citizens can apply for. These include the EU’s LIFE program and federal funding for efficient buildings. With the subsidies, cottage owners are relieved financially in order to stem the expensive change to a climate-neutral home. So that should also be used.
- Great savings potential with the right thermal insulation
Due to heating, the energy demand increases in winter. Consumption is even greater if thermal insulation is poor. If this is optimized at the facades as well as at the roof, heat losses can be reduced, energy and thus costs can be saved. If the accommodation is still heated with oil and gas, the lower consumption also ensures that less CO₂ is released, thus protecting the environment.
- Adapt measures to the location
Experience shows that the south of the Federal Republic is sunnier, while the north is more suitable for wind power plants: Depending on the location, the use of renewable energies can make a difference in terms of price. In addition, a private solar plant is naturally more worthwhile if it is located in a sunny place. Property owners need to take this into account and find out about suitable energy sources for their location.
- Generating electricity yourself can save money
Generating your own electricity has many advantages: You are less dependent on external power sources, you can use your own home to grow solar panels, for example, and you can save money in the long run. Also, since this year, the levy of value added tax is eliminated when producing solar power, so additional costs are saved. However, the purchase should be carefully considered in the budget; rental options are possible, for example. It is important to provide for an alternative energy source, should the generation of own electricity not be sufficient. Moreover, the electricity that is not used can be stored for the future.
- The entire property belongs to the climate-neutral home
The vacation does not begin only in the strange four walls, but already with the way to the vacation accommodation. For families in particular, traveling by car is a good option. For vacation homeowners, this means that the garage must be equipped to charge an e-car, and its space can also be used to attach a solar system.
- Attention when buying household appliances
Not only the house, but also the household appliances are important for a climate-neutral home. Depending on the energy efficiency class, energy can be saved when using technology appliances. Therefore, when switching to a carbon-neutral home, vacation homeowners should locate hidden energy guzzlers and replace them with appliances that display a better energy label. Turning appliances off automatically when not in use can also save energy – unlike standby mode.
- Keep uncertain energy needs on the radar
A vacation rental offers vacationers what they might not otherwise have: a Sauna, pool or air conditioning are part of the vacation for many and are indispensable. However, all this also results in increased energy consumption, which has to be covered. Vacation homeowners must keep this in mind and, if necessary, ensure that other energy sources are available to cover the demand adequately.
- Sensitizing vacationers to energy-saving behavior
Unlike in their own homes, vacationers have limited time in their vacation homes, and the price of the accommodation covers all costs incurred. Therefore, it is naturally tempting not to pay attention to one’s own energy consumption and to consume more than usual. It can therefore help to make vacationers aware of the climate-neutral vacation accommodation and ask them to be environmentally conscious.