From 8.30 to 9.30pm on Saturday (28 March) millions of people across the world will be switching off their lights and taking part in Earth Hour. With the environment, energy efficiency and indeed energy bills in mind we take a look at three properties currently for sale which could lessen the burden on both planet and pocket.
We start with a contemporary eco house on the edge of the pretty village of Kinrossie, Perthshire. 1 Thorngreen Road has a number of eco-features which will help the new owner to be almost self-sufficient with their energy needs.
Electricity is produced from a wind turbine and from Photovoltaic panels which are mounted on trackers allowing them to follow the sun. Solar panels on the roof of the property help to heat the hot water and there is a borehole fed ground source heat pump and underground heating system.
These eco-conscious credentials have not however lead to compromise in terms of design. The house has a distinctive curved east wall and inside there are striking combinations of plastered and exposed red brick walls, painted doors, tiled floors and an attractive wood and glass staircase.
With high ceilings in parts and some rooms enjoying double and triple aspects, 1 Thorngreen Road is a light and bright property with large Scandinavian double glazed windows providing solar gain as well as giving excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Further energy savings come from a combination of LED and low energy light bulbs and a high specification of insulation throughout the house.
1 Thorngreen Road, Kinrossie, Perthshire was designed by the architects Ian Muir Associates in 2006. It is for sale with our Perth office priced at offers over 635,000.
In Kirkcolm near Stranraer, we find another property which has been designed with energy efficiency and modern convenience in mind. Enjoying an elevated position on the North Rhinns of Galloway, Lossat Knot has stunning views overlooking the rolling Wigtownshire countryside, Loch Ryan and Ben App.
Designed by EA Designs Chartered Architects and completed in October 2011, the current owners blogged about the build while it was taking place here. A blend of the traditional local style of white render construction with a modern glazed front aspect, the house is double glazed with Scandinavian style windows and solid oak or natural stone flooring throughout. There is also an air source heat pump which provides hot water and under floor heating.
Lossat Knot is for sale with our Castle Douglas office with a guide price of 400,000.
If you prefer older properties to newer builds then our final pick may be more up your street although it's very much in the Ayrshire countryside! Lissens Moss Farm by Kilwinning is a charming extended farmhouse standing in about 14.4 acres of ground, much of which is woodland. The property has its own wind turbine with a 15kw capacity erected in late 2010.
While there are obvious environmental and longer-term economic benefits of installing a turbine or other small scale renewable energy project the initial outlay can be prohibitive. Buying a property with a turbine in place allows the new owner to benefit from the energy production without the early up-front costs. Someone else having purchased the turbine; undertaken the ground works and installation and negotiated the planning process for you is good news for the bill payer's wallet as well as for their carbon footprint!
Within easy commuting distance of Glasgow, Lissens Moss Farm by Kilwinning, North Ayrshire is for sale with CKD Galbraith Ayr priced at offers over 360,000.