Do the costs outweigh the gains for Eco products? Recently I have seen all kinds of new products invented to fill the Eco space which are relying heavily on a money saving angle to market them. Whilst I understand why the saving money angle is used in this market, the problem is that most of these new products are prohibitively expensive either to buy, fit, or both. To my mind the cost outweighs any potential Eco gain.
Much as I love a good Eco product, in this new age where we tend to move around more as families become more split up etc adding a money saving Eco idea which could take 25 years to pay off, to my mind is not a saving but an expense. A good money saving and planet saving idea has to fit both criteria surely? No point in inventing the next wheel if nobody can afford to buy it.
Solar panels are a such a high ticket item. Many people saw the benefit of both a good investment and the money saving potential when the government brought them to within reach of regular folks via the green deal scheme. But the govt woke up one day and changed the rules after they realised they were giving away too much as an investment. The investment worth dwindled, and now they are back where they started with low take up. A great temporary success then- but proof that it can be achieved.
Do The Costs Outweigh The Gains For Eco Products?
Lets explore the cost over gain angle more. Take double glazing for example- I wrote an article about it a while ago regarding if it saves you money or not. Most folks fit it for one of three reasons; to save money, to add perceived value to property or because their current windows are not performing well. Firstly, to add value it needs to save money and be aesthetically pleasing. Cheap double glazing satisfies neither criteria. It often fails due to it’s poor construction, and the cheaper wide profile windows are just plain ugly.
Which just means doing it because the existing one are falling apart, or leaking perhaps. Many folks simply get sucked into sales patter for new windows and don’t realise that it’s often cheaper and more Eco friendly to repair what you have to make them look and perform better. Add to this that most people won’t take into consideration the Eco costs of disposing of old windows via landfill or the manufacturing process used.
The same rules can be applied to lots of other Eco items where you are replacing an item for another more Eco friendly version. You don’t need to replace things just for perceived Eco credentials, they must meet the time to pay back the investment criteria too.
Obviously there are going to be situations where you can’t just repair things and they need replacement, but replacing just for an Eco or money saving angle often isn’t worth the upfront cost of the product unless you plan to stay in your current accommodation for longer than it takes to pay back the initial cost of those new Eco products.