In the past few years, “going green” emerged as a huge trend in many industries. The drive to be energy efficient is certainly prevalent in home construction. In 2013, green homes comprised about 23 percent of the overall residential construction market. Green homes are expected to grow to between 26 percent and 33 percent of the market by 2016. Efficient homes are growing in popularity for good reason: they offer homeowners a variety of benefits, including reduced energy costs, in addition to their obvious positive impact on the environment. Lenders who issue loans on high-efficiency properties often see great returns.
The U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/leed offers the internationally-recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building certification rating system to measure “green buildings.” Seeking LEED certification is a great way to commit to saving money, conserving energy, reducing water consumption, improving indoor air quality, making better building material choices, and driving innovation. LEED certification is available for homes and residential land development, in addition to bigger building projects.
Here in Denver, the Denver Energy Challenge http://www.denverenergy.org/ is helping residents and businesses reduce energy use. The program targets home tours throughout Denver, organized by local neighborhood organizations, to showcase upgrades such as programmable thermostats, weather stripping, insulation, and ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances to potential customers. Through a partnership with Xcel Energy the program reached out to approximately 20,000 utility customers with direct mailings that advertised the benefits of home energy upgrades, as well as available financing options. Program participants receive access to free energy advising and exclusive, low-cost loans to help make much-needed energy improvements.
Energy efficiency is certainly big…but how are energy efficient homes appraised? If you’ve made adjustments to your home or plan on doing so, it’s valuable to stay aware of what impact these changes will have on the value of your home. If you’re interested in learning about how green homes are appraised.
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