Brianna Valleskey, Benzinga Staff Writer
There are a number of ways to invest in your home, and incorporating energy-efficient technology has gained a lot of traction. The growth of LEED buildings across the country has been exponential, Julie Jacobson, a real estate agent for national real estate brokerage Redfin, told Benzinga.
The interest in homes with energy-efficient systems isn't limited to certain age groups or income levels. Jacobson said she's had clients from all across the board that are interested in green houses.
“I've had clients in every age group, every ethnic group, men, women,” said Jacobson.
Whether you're sticking with your current home for the long run or are in the market to buy or sell, these are good reasons to “go green” with your living space.
Operating Costs Savings
Jacobson said, though the initial cost may seem irritating, making your house more energy efficient could lead the thousands of dollars in savings. A typical U.S. family spends at least $2,000 a year on home utility bills. LED lightbulbs use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 10 to 25 times longer.
The average American family of four also uses 400 gallons of water each day. Replacing old faucets with government WaterSense-labeled ones can reduce a sink's water flow by 30 percent or more, therefore reducing your water bill.
Tax incentives for making your house energy-efficient exist on the federal, state and local level. Any U.S. resident can claim a tax credit of 30 percent of qualified expenditures for installing solar-electric, solar water-heating, fuel cell, wind-energy and geothermal heat pump systems in their homes. There's also a corporate deduction of $1.80 per square foot for owners of new or existing buildings who install interior lighting, building envelope, or heating, cooling, ventilation or hot water systems that reduce the building's total energy and power cost by 50 percent or more than a building that meets minimum ASHRAE requirements.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Energy has information about all of the available incentives.
Increased Home Value
A house is a long-term investment, and making your house energy efficient increases the value. The median sale price of homes with green features is $47,600 higher than for homes without green features, according to Redfin.
A study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles found that homes in California with green labels from Energy Star, LEED for Homes or GreenPoint Rated sell for nine percent more than comparable, non-labeled homes. In addition to green features making your house more attractive to energy-conscience buyers, the decreased operating costs is also very appealing.
Here are some extra tips on how to make your house green:
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