green accommodation

green accommodation

When it comes to tourism, being green is really beginning to pay; a whopping 58% of English consumers surveyed by VisitEngland indicated they’d want to stay in green accommodation with awards or environmentally friendly practices. So as a holiday homeowner providing green accommodation with solid eco credentials, how do you communicate with this potential marketplace? How do you ensure that they choose your cottage over someone else’s?

The varying levels of engagement with sustainability

Now that we’ve said that more than half of consumers would want to stay in green accommodation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an incredibly important factor in the decision making of many guests. You’d not be wrong. However it is important to understand the varying levels of engagement that potential guests feel when it comes to being green.

Around 10% of the population are truly engaged with sustainability; they care for the planet and the society in which they live, and they’re likely to extensively research their potential accommodation and travel, even paying extra to stay in the eco-friendly option.

The rest of the population can be broadly split into two categories:

  • those that are willing to buy sustainable and will pay extra if there’s a demonstrable benefit for them (around 60%); and
  • those that aren’t interested or motivated in their decision making by sustainability and would be reluctant to pay more (accounting for 30%).

So this leaves us with around 70% of the market to target and engage with, ensuring that they not only know that we’re green, but why and how that benefits them as a paying guest.

The integration with your website

Having a sustainability page and a green policy isn’t going to cut the mustard anymore; they can be dry and they’re also rarely visited. In comparison with your other pages this is the sort of content that is only going to hit home with the 10% of the population whom are heavily invested in green tourism.

Make being green a central element to all of your copy, but ensure it doesn’t become over-baring by focussing on the actual positives of your actions. Take a look at your copy and ask yourself if you’re really communicating the green advantages; if there’s a photo of your cottage with solar panels are you saying how much Co2 you’re saving and how much that’s saving them as a guest in return?

Carrying this message through to your other communications

Don’t just leave this on your website for a couple of years; ensure that you’re delivering the same message through your Facebook page and your email marketing efforts. These are key ‘touch-points’ with potential and returning guests between now and the point at which they come to make that booking decision, so make sure they’re well educated in your green credentials to save the need of them having to research and find somewhere else.

The benefits of green accommodation awards

Awards are still a great marketing tool when it comes to communicating credibility and quality with potential guests. 51% of respondents to a recent survey conducted by VisitEngland indicated that they’d select one hotel over another if it had a green award. The same findings can broadly be applied to the holiday home market. Therefore the question is, have you applied for a green award to give your actions and hard work the credibility they deserve?

These don’t have to be through a glitzy award ceremony; there are a number of schemes that reward and promote businesses operating with a consideration for the environment. Do your research, and once you’ve achieved the certificate or won the award promote it. Ensure that the logo goes onto your website and all other promotional material.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how we can help and support your holiday home business call us on 01237 429444.

Exploring the eco benefits of replacing your old light bulbs with newer LED equivalents

Row of light bulbs. Idea concept on green background.Do you know how many light bulbs there are in your holiday home?

A strange question perhaps, but for many holiday property owners, one that has already been answered or will need to be in the near future.

In September 2012, after more than a century of lighting the world, the EU completed its phased ban on the sale of incandescent light bulbs.  The move came in an attempt to reduce the energy use of lighting; 17.5% of global power consumption is on keeping darkness from our homes.

Top Facts on the Incandescent Light Bulb 

  • Only 10 – 20% of the electricity used by an incandescent bulb generates light; the rest is wasted.
  • Prior to 2009, when the phased ban on the sale of the bulbs began, an estimated 200m were sold each year in the UK; that’s six every second!
  • The government believe the ban will save the UK £102m on lighting electricity bills over ten years.
  • Incandescent light bulbs still account for 80% of lighting across the UK

The strongest protests against the ban came from a cost perspective.  Despite longer-term savings, the higher upfront costs of alternatives such as LED have been criticised.

We take a look at LED lighting

What LED bulbs have to offer holiday homeowners:

Longer life

We’ll all have had that moment, balanced on a step ladder, attempting to change a light bulb that has burnt out. For holiday homeowners this can be an added task in the maintenance of your property; needing to get someone to the property to replace the bulbs.

LED lighting has a far greater life span, estimated to be in the region of 11 years of continuous use. That’s 20 years with your lights on for eight hours a day and means continually replacing bulbs in your holiday home could be a thing of the past.

Energy Efficiency

As we’ve said, a key part of the phased ban was geared toward energy efficiency. LED lighting operates at around 80 – 90% efficiency, compared to the 20% efficiency of its traditional counterpart.

As the light is digital the majority of your electric is utilised in lighting your home rather than heating it; the incandescent bulb can be heated up to 2,300C, meaning that a large amount of money is lost in heat rather than spent on light.

This means energy bill savings can be achieved for holiday homeowners looking to convert.

Eco Friendly

Those visiting holiday homes across the country are becoming more and more sensitive to the ecological and green credentials of where they’re staying.

LED lights contain no toxic materials and for that reason are usually recyclable. Given the longer lifespan, one LED light can save the materials and production of 25 traditional bulbs.  Over the average household that will be in the region of 250 – 350 bulbs!

Outdoor Use

As they are not dependent on heat, LED lights are better able to perform in both hot and cold conditions, making them ideal for externally lit areas around holiday homes.

This can include in and around gardens, patios or barbeque areas, allowing your guests to fully enjoy your holiday home, inside and out!

Whilst we’re used to the warm yellow glow of an incandescent bulb their LED equivalent also come in a variety of colours.


There are several clear benefits to replacing your old light bulbs with newer LED equivalents. You will however need to be realistic about the initial monetary savings; they do cost significantly more per bulb and there will be an expenditure on installation.

On the other hand they will provide you benefits over the medium to longer term. Adopting LED will need to be seen as an investment and not a quick fix.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

The benefits of Air Source Heat Pumps for Holiday Homeowners

Heat pumpWhen you say the words ‘renewable energy’ for most the mind will immediately be trained on solar panels and wind turbines. One technology that has perhaps garnered less attention than others is the air source heat pump, which uses the warmth from the air surrounding a holiday home to heat the property itself.

A common myth associated with air source heat is that it won’t work unless it is particularly warm; quite the potential barrier to implementation in the inclement British climate.

The system is in fact able to operate in temperatures as low as -15 Celsius, suggesting it will generate some heat even in the bleakest times of a British winter.

The benefits of Air Source Heat Pumps for Holiday Homes

  • As with other renewable energy technologies, an air source heat pump has the potential to lower fuel bills in comparison to like for like usage on electric or oil systems. This is particularly attractive for holiday homeowners given the cost of heating can quickly eat into profit margins during the winter and even shoulder months.
  • Air source heat is supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which pays those that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings. This will further increase potential savings over electricity or gas alternatives.
  • As the heat is being generated from the air holiday homeowners will not need fuel to be delivered.  This will be a bonus for those living a significant distance from their holiday home as they won’t need to organise delivery and receipt of supplies. It also removes the risk of any potential future price increases in fuels such as wood chips or oil.
  • Air source heat pumps can significantly reduce holiday home carbon emissions. The eco credentials of holiday homes and accommodation has come more sharply into focus in recent years; one in three now consider the environmental impact of where they’ll be staying with 40% willing to pay a premium to stay with providers able to meet their green expectations.
  • The system requires little maintenance and is commonly referred to as ‘fit and forget’ technology, making it suitable for owners living away from their holiday home.

Is your holiday home suitable for an air source heat pump?

  • Do you have space? It is worth checking that you have enough space to accommodate an air source heat pump.  Whilst the unit can be fixed to an external wall or to the ground, it will require clear space around the unit to ensure an adequate air flow.
  • How well is your holiday home insulated?  The pump will generate heat at a lower temperature than an electric or gas alternative meaning your holiday home will need to be well insulated and draught free to make this a suitable technology for you.
  • Do you have under floor heating?  Due to the lower water temperatures involved air source heating is far more suited to under floor heating systems than radiators or storage heaters.
  • What heating system will you be replacing?  The quickest pay back period will be against those currently using electric or coal fired heating systems.  Air source will be less suited to replacing a mains gas heating system.

The costs and savings

A system can cost in the region of £7,000 to £14,000.  Whilst the pay back period will depend on the size of your holiday home, the demand for heat and the temperature you’d like your rooms, it is estimated that the cost of your system can be recouped in four to seven years.

If you are currently looking at renewable energy for your holiday home ensure that you speak with a range of quality suppliers.

Before proceeding with an installation please speak to your holiday home insurance insurance broker to increase your buildings sums insured and to clarify that your air source heat pumps will be covered in the event that they are damaged by a peril, such as storm or fire. For further information or if you require a quotation from a specialist for your holiday home insurance call our team on 01237 429444.