There are plenty of compelling reasons to go green and start working harder to reduce your carbon footprint and lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle, but one that you may not be aware of or haven’t really considered is how being more energy efficient could actually be a fiscally responsible move too, potentially saving you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year. Yes, some energy-saving steps and products can seem like a greater investment at first, but most will more than pay for themselves in the long-run.
A good place to start is in the home. There are many opportunities to make your home more energy efficient, from small steps like replacing your incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent or LED ones -- which could save you about 50 dollars per year alone -- to much bigger, large-scale changes like remodeling or adding features to your home that help you to use less energy, or just building your next home from scratch and making it as green as possible.
Here are just a few ways to make your home more energy-efficient, and why doing so will save you money.
Improving your home’s insulation.
This one should be obvious. When your home is better insulated, it helps reduce costs for things like heating and cooling because the heat or cold (depending on the season) you want to keep out stays out, and the air you want to stay in, stays in. It can also help lower the possibility of things like damage-causing water leaks and other weather-related phenomena that could end up costing you more money, too. According to Energy Star, making these small changes could save you up 200 dollars a year in heating and cooling costs.
A few ways to improve your home’s insulation include simple projects you could do yourself like weatherstripping your doors or a basic attic air-seal and fiberglass insulation job.
Changing out your appliances for more energy efficient ones.
This could involve installing low-flow fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom (potentially reducing your current water use by up to 60 percent and drastically lowering your water bill) or buying Energy Star certified appliances like a washer and dryer.
Modifying your windows -- or adding new ones.
There are a range of steps you can take to make your windows more energy efficient, from curtains and windows -- that will help to further insulate your home against outside light and temperature, and keep heat and cool air in -- to adding low-emissivity coatings on your windows or installing skylights, which can reduce your heating, cooling, and lighting costs as well. Adding low-emissivity coatings has the potential to curtail energy loss by 30-50 percent alone. By adding certified windows, doors, and skylights, Energy Star estimates that a homeowner could reduce their energy bill by 15 percent.
Using renewable (and increasingly inexpensive) energy sources like solar energy to your advantage.
There are lots of things to take into consideration before investing in something like solar panels, which even at falling costs, can be quite expensive -- like where you live (and what your weather is like), whether your state offers financial incentives for installing solar panels like tax credits, and whether the structure and location of your roof is optimal for hosting solar panels. However, in such a sun-saturated state like Arizona, it’s worth at least considering.
Research and seek out incentives for building green.
There are other financial reasons for building green, including opportunities, both locally and federally, to receive incentives such as tax credits, fee reductions and waivers, grants, or revolving loan funds. Depending on where you live and the nature of your project, you may also be eligible for technical or marketing assistance.
Not only has adding energy-efficient features will save you money on your housing expenses during the period in which you are actually living in it, research has shown that it could help you make more money should you ever decide to sell it. A 2016 article from NerdWallet found that adding energy-efficient upgrades to your home has the potential to increase the value of your home anywhere from 2 to 6 percent depending on where you live.
To find out more information about how High Caliber Construction can help you save money by adding energy efficient features to your home, please contact us at (928) 526 - 2156 or fill out our online form to tell us more about your project here.