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Home energy efficiency pays in more ways than one  Smart Choices Archive

Home energy efficiency pays in more ways than one

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Energy Efficiency

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make progress on home improvement projects, this information from Safe Electricity can help you figure out which improvements may offer the best return on your investment. Some improvements offer greater energy efficiency, too, so consider them even if you are planning on staying right where you are.

Here are some statistics based on research to consider:

  • These improvements generally offer a decent return on homeowners’ investments: new siding, bathroom remodels and wooden decks (76.7, 70 and 82.8 percent return, respectively).
  • Across the nation, energy-efficient designated homes have a 2 to 6 percent sales premium, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Certified homes brought in an additional $3,416 to $8,882 over non-green homes or $2.99 to $13.82 per square foot for every dollar saved on annual electricity bills from efficiency investments. Studies compiled and released by the DOE show they sell faster as well, by 18 to 89 days.

Even if you’re not planning on selling your home or you have no idea where your home fits on the green spectrum, there are several energy-friendly improvements that can help keep you comfortable and save money on your energy bills to boot. Here are some projects to consider:

  • Attic insulation: In 2017, homeowners recouped more than what they paid (107.7 percent) for fiberglass installation in the attic, according to the home improvement website’s cost-versus-value national data. Not many home projects return more than what you pay, so this is a great place to start. Homeowners should always insulate from the top of the home down, anyway, since most air escapes out of the top.
  • Front door: If you replace your older, inefficient entry door with an energy-efficient steel version, you’ll get back 90.7 percent, according to the cost-versus-value data. A fiberglass door got a 77.7 percent return in 2017.
  • New windows: In 2017, upscale wood and vinyl window replacement brought about the same return: 73 and 73.9 percent, respectively.

Other energy-friendly options for your home
There are plenty of other energy- and home-buyer-friendly projects to consider, even if return-on-investment statistics are not readily available:

  • Install energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen. Most buyers appreciate new appliances that run on less energy and impact their energy bill’s bottom line.
  • Repair old weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent air leaks.
  • Have an energy audit done on your home to see what other improvements you can make to prevent air loss.
  • Depending on their age, consider updating your HVAC components and water heater to more energy-efficient versions. If you are doing this strictly for the sale, consult your real estate agent first.
  • Consider new and more energy-efficient roofing if your roof is older. Again, if you are selling your home in the near future, consult your home-selling expert for advice.

Source: Safe Electricity

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