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Angloinfo World: Property is part of the Angloinfo World blog series which brings you news and views from around the globe on issues which affect expats like you. More Info

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Angloinfo World: Property

How to look for an eco-friendly expat home

March 1, 2017

What to look out for when choosing an eco-friendly property to buy – or rent

How to look for an eco-friendly home to buy or rent

A truly eco home will be made with carbon neutral or sustainable products, will have an excellent energy performance rating and will be full of energy efficient household goods and products. Those three elements will reduce the energy footprint of the house so that it’s overall consumption will be as close to carbon neutral as possible.

There’s no question that some countries make it easier to find an eco home than others. If you are at the very beginning of a property search, and you haven’t yet chosen a country to start your expat life, the EPI Country Comparison tool may be helpful. It allows users to see how “green” countries are relative to one another. Try the tool out here.

How to look for an eco-friendly home to buy or rent

But if you have already chosen a country (or had it chosen for you), some features to look out for in your search for an eco-property to buy or rent (depending on the climate you are living in) might include:

  • A high energy-efficiency rating (see below)
  • Rainwater harvester
  • Triple glazing
  • Motion-sensitive lighting
  • A high insulation rating: roof, walls, solid floor, external doors
  • Own energy production: solar panels, wind turbine, geothermal pump
  • A “green” (carbon exchanging) roof
  • A design that capture’s morning and afternoon sun and heat
  • A low-water/drought resistant garden
  • Non-polluting, sustainable building materials

In ‘How to, easily, make your home greener’ we reviewed ways that expats can adapt their current home and everyday activities to reduce their carbon footprint. It also includes some useful resources, including Cleanright, a European service provided to help consumers use cleaning products in a safe and environmentally aware way.

Did you know, for example, that a shower may be less “green” than a bath if the shower is a high-powered version? It’s certainly considered a good idea to put a timer on a shower – especially if you have teenagers!

In Europe, the energy efficiency of household goods and products is indicated with a rainbow-coloured sticker and a lettered rating. The most eco products are those with a A+++ rating. Read more about the energy rating in the ‘The new energy label explained’ (a pdf publication of For an up to date review of energy efficient household goods see the European Commission’s ‘Energy efficient products’ guide.How to look for an eco-friendly home to buy or rent

The energy efficiency of a whole property in Europe is also indicated with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which provides buyers with a visual of a property’s energy efficiency and ways to improve it. The EU is aiming to have all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy by 2020.


A great place to start looking for overseas property to buy or rent is Angloinfo Property,  where you can search by town or region, the number of beds, type of property, price and must-have features.


by Angloinfo World editor. Find out more about Angloinfo World editor here.

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