This article first appeared in our Earth Day 2023 issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published on 22 April 2023. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Oscar Wilde defined a cynic as someone who knows ‘the price of everything, and the value of nothing’.
It’s easy for us to extol the virtues of seemingly ‘expensive’ technologies like electric cars, solar panels, batteries and heat pumps, but we are acutely aware of the economic anxiety gripping the nation.
You will often hear us talking about cheaper options like insulation, draught-proofing, energy efficiency, thermostats and aerated shower heads – but not today.
In this article, I’m going to actively talk about some of the more ‘expensive’ options that are available right now, and encourage you to look at them through a new lens: as a valuable investment.
The payback fixation
On average, homeowners regularly invest £5,000-10,000 in a new kitchen or a new bathroom, and ‘what is the payback on that?’ is not a question you are likely to hear.
Perhaps when you come to sell your house, your fixtures and fittings might add some value; we never really interrogate that though, and the ‘payback’ will in no way match the outlay.
Similarly, holidays abroad (and often at home, too) are not inexpensive; when we return we might have warm memories, but let’s not pretend that we will see a return on our investment.
So why are the tabloids so sniffy about us spending money on cleaner, greener technologies?
EVs cost less
I couldn’t possibly comment. But what I will say is this: yes, the forecourt price of an electric vehicle (EV) is typically higher than that of a pollution-pumping hybrid, but from then on – in every aspect – a comparable EV is cheaper. Much cheaper.
If you can charge from home on a cheaper overnight tariff it is cheaper still.
And what if you can afford solar panels? Well, that could not only cut your energy bills, but also your fuel costs.
If you have a battery it gets even better. You can store sunlight, sure – but you can also ‘fill up’ during the cheaper tariff times, use that energy when it is at its most expensive and pocket the difference.