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Mar 25, 2015 BY arielle

Get Energy Efficient for Less Money

energy Efficiency

Many people believe that building energy efficient homes and buildings means spending a ton of money. We're here to prove that there are options that are as good for energy usage as they are for your wallet.

Why Energy Efficient?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2013, 40% of the total American energy consumption was used to heat or cool residential and commercial buildings. Other sources say that heating and cooling account for around 48% of the energy used in a typical home.

With options like modern insulation, fiberglass windows, and passive solar design available, many buildings can easily cut their energy usage by 50%. Misinformation and upfront costs are the reasons why many are avoiding the leap.

How Much Does It Really Cost?

The V.P. of Sales and Marketing at Westchester Modular Homes estimates that building a home 60% more efficient than a typical home adds only 3-5% to the cost. What's more, for 10% more, you can build a house with a net-zero energy. The these homes require smaller, less expensive heating and cooling units, saving you money and resources.

Many state that home and building owners that spend the extra money upfront will get those costs back in just five years -- almost entirely from utility bills for heating and cooling.

We at the Green Building Company always believe in spending the least for the most amount of gain -- as most do. Many say energy efficiency isn't worth the upfront cost, especially if you aren't planning on living in a home for more than five years. We believe that building homes in an eco-friendly manner can help society, and that should be a major selling point. Plus, green homes get more money on the open market, so most of these upfront costs can be repaid when it is time to sell.

Orcas Island Examples

New buildings aren't the only types that can benefit from energy efficient upgrades. Just last year Christian Rodriguez began to make changes to his 1880s home. He first air-sealed the attic and added 20 inches of cellulose insulation. He stated that these simple changes made a huge "difference in both comfort and heating bills." Hoping to go further, he asked the Green Building Advisor for advice. They suggested two more simple, budget-friendly changes to the drafty old house:

  • Exterior Storm Windows: weatherstripping the windows and adding a low-e storm window in the outside is a cheap, easy way to upgrade the single-pane glass of old homes.
  • Crawl Space Insulation: using closed-cell spray polyurethane foam to seal up the crawl space is important in heat retention, and can be a cost-effective way to keep heat inside the home, where it belongs.

The Takeaway

In the end, it seems easy to say that building green homes and buildings and upgrading to become more energy efficient is much better for homes and wallets in the long run -- and doesn't have to break the bank at the outset.

If you're looking to build an efficient home or upgrade your existing structure, contact us and we'd be happy to analyze your situation and create a plan that works for you.

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