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Energy efficiency. Home buyers are looking for homes with higher energy efficiency, and lower energy costs. Even knowing and disclosing your energy costs could raise your sale by up to $4,000, regardless of how much energy you use.
Energizing your home with renewable energy systems like solar panels will bump up your home value even more. The NREL did a detailed study and found that solar homes sold 20% faster for 17% more than comparable non-solar homes in the state of California. Findings like this are making some California builders think about making solar panels, along with other energy efficiency measures, standard in all of their new projects.
But we’re not there yet. In the meantime, you can upgrade the energy efficiency of your own home, upping its value considerably with a few, simple changes.
First, you have to know what home buyers are looking for.
Why energy efficiency is becoming more important to home buyers… and everyone
Energy efficiency is currently number one on the list of what home buyers are looking for in prospective homes. This means appliances, windows, and yes, energy generation and storage systems like solar panels and home batteries. Home buyers are looking for energy efficiency in homes for a few reasons:
If you choose to install solar panels along with an energy storage system like a home battery, you are setting yourself, and a future buyer, up with a great asset: energy security. With solar panels, you have an energy source independent from the electrical grid, which means you still have power when the grid goes down. With energy storage, you’ll still have power when the sun goes down, too. That’s clean energy, all the time.
When you buy a house, you have to take into consideration the monthly payment you’ll have to dish out every month. That payment isn’t just a mortgage payment, but monthly energy bills, too. Home buyers are looking to buy a house, already having a good idea of what those payments will look like. If you’re using renewables, you can be transparent about the current energy costs of your home, and have some good news about the future, too. When your power depends on finite energy sources like fossil fuels, you never know how high future energy bills could get. WIth renewables, you can say with confidence that the your lower bills will stay low.
A home is an investment, and many home buyers are looking at purchasing with the future in mind. Just like you’re looking to up the value of your home, buyers want to know that their investment will appreciate over time. All the recent stats have shown that energy efficient homes, especially ones with solar panels, are having a greater increase in their value than comparable homes. It’s a win/win.
More and more people are paying attention to the way that their lifestyle affects their environment, and are taking steps toward greener habits. A lot of these new habits start at home. Your home is a great place to save energy and save the planet in both big and small ways. Green-thinking homebuyers are looking for houses that are geared toward energy efficiency and a low carbon footprint.
Now that you know what buyers are looking for, here’s some steps on how to get there.
Here are 10 easy ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home:
Get an energy efficiency audit. Find out where your home stands in terms of energy efficiency, so your know where to start. Find out the strengths and weaknesses, and know where the best improvements can be made in your home. If you’re in California, you can call 1-888-267-7605 to set up an audit today.
Seal up the cracks. Most homes have weaker spots in the insulation where hot and cold air can slip in and out. This drives up heating and cooling bills like nobody’s business. This is one of the first places to consider when you’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The most common problem areas are around doors and windows, and also in basements and attics. Plug up any big holes, and you’ll be well on your way to a more energy efficient home.
Haul some insulation upstairs. Almost half of the homes in the U.S. are underinsulated, resulting in unnecessarily high energy bills. Insulating the upstairs of your home will keep it warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer… and that’s what you’re going for, right?
Take a good look at your ducts. With forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are essential in carrying air to different parts of your home. The EPA estimates that a fifth of the hot and cool air flowing through your ducts escapes through leaks in the piping system. Hey! That’s your air! Seal them up with duct sealant in exposed ducts.
Get a smarter thermostat. Programmable thermostats are becoming more and more common, and can save you about 10% on your heating and cooling bills. It’ll pay for itself in a matter of months, and it’ll look good to potential buyers, too.
Replace your windows. New windows = greener house. Getting new, tighter-fitting windows will not only look great to buyers, but it will slash your energy bills at the same time.
Did we say windows? We also meant doors. Many people know that windows are key to energy efficiency, but doors, specifically hollow doors, let warm and cool air flow right through them, sabotaging your energy bill. Ditch the hollow and metal doors, and get higher quality doors that will help make your home more energy efficient.
Upgrade your appliances. Now that your house is well-insulated, it’s time to check out some new, Energy Star appliances. They’re awesome. Appliances account for a big chunk of a household’s energy usage, so Energy Star appliances, which use energy responsibly while washing your clothes and keeping your ice cream cool, will bump your home up to a whole new energy efficient level.
Hook up to a renewable energy source. It’s time to get get serious about energy efficiency, and go big. The cost of solar panels is continuing to drop to historic lows as demand for rooftop solar increases. Rooftop solar panels are a bold, eye-catching statement for energy efficiency. Also, did we mention that the sun generates power every day… for free?
Smart energy management with a home battery. The home battery is the holy grail of energy efficiency, and energy security. With a home battery, your household can store the energy generated during the day by solar panels, so it can be used at night when the sun goes down and energy is most expensive. Awesome, right? This also means that your household has an independent source of energy in the case that the grid goes down, or hikes up its prices. If that doesn’t intrigue prospective buyers, nothing will.
Energy efficiency has broken into the mainstream--and it’s the number one thing home buyers are looking for. Make your home an energy efficient haven, with cleaner, greener features you’re excited to boast to the realtor about. And if you’re wondering about the home battery piece, we’ve got you covered. Click here for a free quote.