Homebuyers are increasingly aware of the benefits of energy efficient homes. In fact, they’re often willing to pay more for homes with “green” upgrades.
Remember Granite Ridge Builders’ home? “We wanted people to come in and fall in love with the design, the floor plan, the furniture, and then we can start talking to them about what’s in the wall cavity, what’s down in the mechanic room, what’s the solar do for you.”
The home completely ran off of solar energy. The panels take in lots of sun energy to be used as electricity. Whatever is left over each day is sent to an AEP power grid and for credit. On the days you use more energy than you produce, you can pull from that credit.
Just how much your home’s upgrades will increase in value depends on several factors, like where you live, which upgrades you’ve made and how your home is marketed at sale time. The length of time to recoup the costs of upgrades for energy efficient homes also depends on the energy costs in your area.
Need proof? In 2014, upgraded homes in Los Angeles County saw a 6 percent increase in value, according to a study from Build It Green, a California nonprofit. Upgraded homes in Washington, D.C., saw a 2 percent to 5 percent increase in 2015, according to a report by Adomatis.
Before you decide to do anything, you’ll want to find out how energy efficient your home is.
Getting a quick energy assessment or a more thorough energy audit can determine which upgrades would make the most sense for your home and your finances. An audit may include an energy rating, a number that indicates how energy efficient your home is and how much it will increase if you make recommended upgrades.
According to McGraw Hill Construction research dating back to 2006, energy efficient homes or green homes are in demand. “The green home building market most rapidly accelerated during the housing downturn when builders experienced in green remained in business at higher proportions than those not knowledgeable about energy-efficient and green home building.”
As the housing industry has improved, buyers are no longer just looking at depressed prices as a motivator to buy. Now buyers are looking at green features to help their buying decisions and are paying more for green.
What does it mean for a home to be “green?”
Improvements you can afford for your home:
Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) said that “Savvy investments in energy efficiency retrofits for buildings could yield more than three times their value, amounting to about $1 trillion in energy savings in a decade, says new research from Deutsche Bank and The Rockefeller Foundation.
The study said that yield would be just one of the returns if $279 billion were spent for retrofits of residential, commercial and institutional buildings in the United States.
In addition to saving about 30 percent of the United States’ entire energy spend during the course of a year, completion of the retrofits for your energy efficient homes could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country by 10 percent and create 3.3 million job years — which means the projects could create an estimated 3.3 million cumulative years of employment — the study said.
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