Home Owners Encouraged to Go Green on Remodeling
During Home Remodeling Month this May, NAHB Remodelers is encouraging home owners to go green with their remodeling projects — conserving natural resources and improving indoor air quality while saving money on their utility costs.
“It’s not just feeling good about the environment, but feeling good in your pocketbook,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS, a remodeler from Chicago. “Green remodeling offers tangible benefits for consumers, including significant savings on utility bills.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home owners can save $600 or more per year on utility bills by upgrading appliances, windows and insulation to Energy Star®-rated products.
Home owners can also save money on their water bills by retrofitting their homes with water-efficient fixtures — saving up to $175 annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program. Examples include aerators for faucets, tankless water heaters and low-flow or dual-flush toilets.
“In some older homes, the costs for these upgrades can be completely offset by the savings on the utility bill. It’s that big,” Nagel said.
The federal government also offers a $500 tax credit for energy-efficient windows, doors, insulation, HVAC and other upgrades. The credit expires at the end of 2007.
NAHB Remodelers offers some simple additional tips for minimizing a home’s energy use:
- Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED lights. Their longer life and low energy use quickly make up for their higher cost.
- Pick up some programmable thermostats for your heating and cooling system and timers for your lights.
- When planning new outdoor space, consider installing native plants — xeriscaping — in your new landscaping and cut down on irrigation needs. Look for permeable pavement to allow rainwater to seep into the ground rather than load the stormwater systems.
For more information about remodeling, click here (nahb.org/remodel).