Investing in green-energy home projects

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Investing in green-energy home projects

 
June 21, 2011
 
 
Real estate agents and home builders note an increased interest among home buyers in energy-efficient properties, a reality that could have a direct impact on a home seller's ability to market his or her home.   Those looking to sell a property that sucks up energy may be hard-pressed to find interested home buyers, while those who invest a bit in green technologies could make their properties all the more attractive when it comes time to sell. And in the meantime, homeowners may enjoy 
the immediate benefits of energy efficiency, including lower utility bills. There are a few particular green-energy home improvements home sellers may want to consider.
 
Changing the power source
 
The McClatchy-Tribune News Service reports any assessment of a home's energy consumption starts with an energy audit, a service many utility companies will provide at little or no cost. Once homeowners have taken that step, they can consider upgrades to their property, including their electrical system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners can reduce their dependence on electricity providers by adopting a renewable energy source, which can include small wind or 
solar systems. Wind is often the most cost effective source and can cut a homeowners electricity bills between 50 and 80 percent, reports the DOE. Solar energy can also be beneficial, and hybrid systems that combine both elements can sometimes be the most cost-effective and efficient way to provide alternative energy all year round.
 
Upgrading and maintaining existing systems
 
DOE reports homeowners should also take a look at their existing heating and cooling systems. They may be using an outdated and inefficient central air conditioner, which could be wasting energy as it attempts to cool the home. The same holds true for many household appliances. DOE reports an energy audit can identify which appliances and systems may be too inefficient. In addition, a number of appliances and systems come with energy ratings that help provide consumers direction when they seek to replace their old units.
 
Insulation
 
Homeowners should also not overlook the value of insulation when it comes to making a home more energy efficient. The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) reports homes older than 10 years may need more insulation than newer properties. Insulation is graded by its 'R' value, and the type a homeowner needs varies on their heating source, geographical location and the architectural makeup of their home. NAIMA reports homeowners are advised to check with a 
contractor to see what type of insulation their property will need.