Moving abroad brings the thrill of new experiences, but it does come at a cost to the environment. The good news is that you can limit the impact your relocation has on the planet. Royal De Gruijter, a relocation company in the Netherlands, offers you guidance on how to do so, especially if you’re thinking of investing in the Dutch property market.

The landscape of property ownership is evolving, with energy efficiency taking centre stage. In the Netherlands, upcoming changes in mortgage rules set for 2024 will incentivise buyers towards energy-efficient homes. Properties with higher energy ratings, such as A or B, will receive larger mortgage loans, boosting their value. Conversely, homes with lower ratings are predicted to depreciate.

Maximising mortgage benefitsTo leverage these mortgage incentives, aspiring homeowners should prioritise energy-efficient properties. Buyers eyeing an A or B-rated home can secure up to 10.000 euros more in mortgage funds than those opting for lower-rated properties. Furthermore, investing in an energy-neutral home opens the door to even more substantial loans. Homebuyers can also access loans for sustainability improvements, like enhancing insulation.

Single vs. couple borrowing dynamicsInterestingly, changes in borrowing dynamics will affect singles and couples differently. Single individuals purchasing homes with higher energy ratings stand to borrow significantly more in 2024 compared to the previous year. Conversely, couples aiming for properties with lower energy ratings might encounter limitations in borrowing potential.

Tips to improve your energy rating and efficiency in the NetherlandsHere are some tips to enhance your energy efficiency and raise your energy rating as a green expat:

InsulationEnsure that your home is well-insulated, including the walls, roof and floors. Proper insulation helps in maintaining a consistent temperature and reduces the need for excessive heating or cooling.

Double glazingInstall double glazing on windows to minimise heat loss. This can significantly improve the energy performance of your home by reducing the need for heating during the colder months.

Energy-efficient heating systemsUpgrade your heating system to a more energy-efficient one. You can consider installing a high-efficiency boiler or a heat pump, which can be more sustainable and cost-effective in the long run.

Thermostat controlInstall a programmable thermostat to regulate heating and cooling based on your daily schedule. Lowering the temperature at night or when you’re away can save energy.

Energy-efficient lightingReplace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs. These alternatives consume less energy and have a longer lifespan.

Energy-efficient appliancesChoose energy-efficient appliances with high energy ratings when purchasing new items for your home. Look for the EU energy label and opt for appliances with an A++ or A+++ rating to ensure maximum energy savings.

Renewable energy sourcesYou can also consider installing solar panels on the roof of your home to generate renewable energy. In the Netherlands, incentives and subsidies from the government are often available to support the adoption of solar energy.

Air sealingIdentify and seal any gaps or leaks in your home. Leaks can often appear on doors, windows and walls. Sealing these gaps prevents drafts from coming into your space and ensures that the conditioned air inside your home stays inside.

Energy auditConduct a professional energy audit to identify specific areas where improvements can be made. Doing this can provide tailored recommendations based on your home’s unique characteristics.

Water conservationAnother way to reduce your carbon footprint is to implement water-saving measures, such as low-flow taps and water-efficient appliances in your home. While not directly related to your energy rating, it contributes to overall sustainability efforts.

Green roofs and wallsExplore options for green roofs or walls, which can provide additional insulation and contribute to a more sustainable living environment.

Eco-living as a green expatAdopting sustainable practices in your new environment is vital for long-term eco-friendly living.

Here are a few other things that you can do to live a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly lifestyle:

Support local products: Buy locally produced items to reduce carbon emissions from transportation. Embrace recycling: Extend your recycling efforts beyond unpacking and aim for a minimal waste lifestyle. Choose certified goods: Look for certifications like Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or Energy Star to ensure eco-friendly purchases. By incorporating some of the previously mentioned things into your life, you can rest easy knowing that you are doing your part for the planet.

Live sustainablyWhile relocating to a new country comes with its own set of challenges, living sustainably doesn’t have to be one of them if you make informed choices. From choosing an energy-efficient home to practising sustainability in your new environment, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and contribute positively to the planet’s well-being.

If you’re looking for a relocation partner who is committed to the environment, is up to date on the latest laws affecting expats in the Netherlands and has more than 100 years of relocation experience to boot, Royal De Gruijter is the partner for you. Contact them now for a no-obligation chat about your relocation needs.

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