Embracing Energy Efficiency for Your Home

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:10

If you are a homeowner, no one needs to tell you that there is a great deal of time, effort, and money invested in home ownership. Home Advisor’s True Cost Report 2018 has found that homeowners have spent an average of $6,649 on home improvements per household in the last 12 months. Whether they are millennials, who are more likely than any other generation to remodel any part of their homes, or baby boomers, who have a tendency to spend the most money on home projects, homeowners are more likely to choose remodeling and renovating over moving and selling.

Homeowners cite improved aesthetics as their primary motivation for remodeling, followed by improved comfort and added value. Energy-efficient homes are increasing in popularity as homeowners become more interested in sustainability and environment-friendly lifestyles. In fact, a survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) asserts that nearly 10 percent of people 34 years or younger indicated they were willing to spend more money on a newly constructed home in order to incorporate green features that would positively impact the environment. For current homeowners, choosing to make energy efficiency a priority in your home improvement plan can mean significant benefits. Not only can it save you on utility bills, but it can provide tax rebates, minimize your carbon footprint, boost the economy, increase your quality of life, and improve the resale value of your home.

For homeowners, many things can be changed to increase energy efficiency with little or no effort or cost. There are also larger, more expensive, and all-encompassing home improvements that can be considered. Whether you are worried about the high energy bill that might end up in your mailbox from running your central air all summer, or it is the overwhelming concerns you have for the future of the planet you are looking to minimize, you are one of millions of people looking for ways to improve their environmental consciousness, decrease their own carbon footprint, and streamline  household budgets.

The good news is that energy conscious options are not difficult to embrace. For choices that are more expensive, there are financing options including PACE (property assessed clean energy). Understanding how PACE works is easier than you might think, and the advantage of going green is that no matter what you pay in the short-term, your costs will be offset or completely recouped in the long-term through the reduction of your monthly energy bill and the increase in your home’s value. Hundreds of improvements qualify, and you can use a PACE qualification calculator to determine the viability of your project. PACE makes it easier for “property owners to invest in their future, increase comfort and security, reduce energy usage, and ultimately, help you save money over the long-term.”

Ideas ideas for the energy conscious homeowner range from simple, easy solutions that require little time, effort and money to more substantial changes that will mean a greater initial investment.

Energy Saving Switches. From energy-saving power switches that draw zero energy to wi-fi enabled power outlets that allow you to turn on devices with voice activation and program rules, schedules, and customized notifications, several energy efficient smart outlets are more than affordable. It is a great way to reduce electricity consumption and minimize your personal effort in doing so.

Smart Thermostats. If you’re looking to replace your standard thermostat, you may want to replace it with one of the smart thermostats that have been tested and reviewed. These thermostats can save up to $150 a year when used effectively, and many have interesting features like Alexa voice control and apps that allow you to view how much energy you use and why.

Low Flow Shower Heads. Low flow shower heads can maintain that balance between having a low flow that promises usage reduction while still offering a satisfying shower experience. Understanding gallons-per-minute and pressure compensation technology used by most brands will help you make a decision on the best solution for consistent flow rate and reduced water consumption, regardless of available water pressure.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems. The goal of a solar power system is to efficiently convert energy from the sun into electric power you can use in your home or office. Environmentally speaking, power generated by a solar power system is not generated by coal-fired utility plant that pollutes the environment and requires ongoing dependency on fossil fuel. It can save you money by lowering your electric bill, and, in some cases, even eliminate it completely. The PV system involves using panels that convert solar energy into electric energy and involves the use of an energy storage battery.

What are some green projects you are looking to start? Feel free to share your suggestions here.

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