Solar can reduce or even eliminate your electric bills, heat your hot water, heat your pool, the list goes on. Geothermal can eliminate oil and gas bills and “anytime geothermal water or heat are used directly, less electricity is used. Using geothermal water ‘directly’ conserves energy and replaces the use of polluting energy resources with clean ones.” Green energy audits can cut your heating and cooling expenses dramatically. Air and water filtration together with grey water underground sprinkler systems can clean the air of pollutants, purify and conserve your water.
DID YOU KNOW THAT: 21% of the all energy used in the United States is used in homes?
Where does all of the energy go?
Over 40% of the energy consumed in a home is used for heating and cooling. Water heating and lighting uses around 20%. Appliances, including refrigeration, use more than 15%. These energy users can also be areas where energy savings can be achieved. Remember that a home energy audit is the first step to determine how much energy a home uses and to identify opportunities where energy can be saved. The home energy audit can discover inefficiencies in a home and provide solutions for increased efficiency.”
Green capital improvements keep on giving back as long as you own your home. Improvements such as kitchens and baths offer so much enjoyment but the return on investment is not realized until after you sell the house.
In addition to the savings in energy and dollars, you can determine how the value of your house will increase when adding these green features. The Appraisal Institute has a factor for calculation of increased value which is approximately 20 times energy savings. This can amount to thousands of dollars in increased value for homes in areas where values may have plummeted during the recent economic downturn.
Appraisers are just now getting their green education but lenders need to require that green energy features be considered as value added. Utilities are not calculated or considered to be an expense by lenders when underwriting a mortgage, except for commercial property. These expenses are ongoing obligations and sometimes very costly and yet, no consideration is given to the fact that these expenditures can interfere with repayment of a loan in these trying times.
Let’s face it: If you have a family and you’re in a crisis, heat and electric bills will be paid before your mortgage loan . So greening homes is something that lenders should consider as desirable not only to secure the repayment of the loan but to increase equity. And when a home already has green features that cut costs, additional income consideration should be given to a new home buyer for the reduced expenses.
Estimates for these improvements from green energy contractors are usually free so it makes sense to investigate how you can save money, energy and increase value through the power of living green today.
In the future, when you do decide to sell your home, not all of your capital improvements promise to bring buyers, but real savings on actual living costs through greening your home is the best selling point and marketing tool of all.
REMEMBER…THE EARTH IS WHAT WEL ALL HAVE IN COMMON.