Do Energy Efficiency Upgrades Measure Up for Homeowners?

How to determine if energy efficiency upgrades are right for your home (and budget)

Inhabitat, April 1, 2016. Image credit: AllanW

So how do home performance upgrades pay off? From 2010 to 2013, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program upgraded nearly 120,000 homes and buildings achieved total verified energy savings for the 3-year evaluation period provided of over $40 million in annual savings and close to $850 million in estimated lifetime savings.

These numbers are impressive and show that energy upgrades do pay off in savings over time, but how quickly can individual homeowners expect to reap the benefits of their investment? Home energy upgrades pay off in a variety of different ways. While saving money on energy bills can be the most enticing, research has shown that this might not be the greatest payoff. The truth of the matter is that energy upgrades will result in energy cost savings, but the quickest and greatest benefits are found in the improvements to your family’s health, safety and comfort.
While energy upgrades may be costly, there are opportunities for tax breaks, subsidies, rebates and low cost financing incentives in many states. You can use the Department of Energy’s online tax credits, rebates and savings locator tool to see what is available in your state. Unless you already live in a super-efficient and sustainable home, there are most certainly two or three energy upgrades you can make that will yield a strong ROI, which includes increasing your family’s comfort, safety and health as well as energy cost savings. And that’s a win/win for you and for the planet.
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