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In focus: Energy-efficient home improvement's benefits

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 1:36:39 PM

Home improvement projects are currently booming, and reaching closer to pre-recession levels at an accelerated pace as a result. This is a strong indication that the housing market is in a stable position, especially as homeowners will now routinely invest in projects to upgrade their abodes when they are not financially solvent. CBS Minnesota reported that 36 million homeowners are looking to improve their houses in the next 12 months through various projects, citing data from Bankrate. 

Interestingly, the source pointed out that a higher percentage of millennial respondents cited plans for these ventures than any other generation. Now, some upgrades and renovations will be obvious in terms of their utility and necessity. However, many homeowners tend to struggle when considering the merits of energy-efficient home improvements, not truly knowing whether the investment is worthy. There are several reasons why eco-friendly upgrades are worth their cost for the average homeowner.

Advantages of green homes
With the world turning toward sustainable farming, manufacturing, energy consumption and beyond, it only makes sense for homeowners to follow suit. Some economists have gone so far as to say that companies that do not focus on becoming more environmentally friendly might go extinct in the next few decades. Homeowners might not be under as big of a squeeze in this regard, but upgrading the home for these projects can certainly pay off when the time comes to sell. 

Here are a few reasons to launch these projects:

  • The Internal Revenues Service notes that substantial tax credits are available for individuals who have energy-efficient homes. 
  • The U.S. Green Building Council estimated that the rate of green building starts as a percentage of total residential construction rose from 2 percent in 2005 to 23 percent in 2013. 
  • Energy-efficient homes can reduce utilities consumption by 30 percent to 60 percent compared to older homes, the USGBC noted. 

Other advantages will be clearer for some homeowners compared to others. 

Comfortable improvements
Some of these upgrades can be expensive, and homeowners might need to acquire financing to make the plans a reality. Smaller community banks will often be better for local homeowners, as they add a personal touch. Additionally, energy-efficient improvement loan programs are available thanks to the increased demand for sustainable buildings. The average homeowner can likely benefit from a review of eco-friendly upgrade options for their houses.