Energy-efficient Homes

The term “green homes” can be used to describe newly constructed energy-efficient homes or pre-existing homes that have undergone the various retrofitting updates that allow it to be considered a green property. There are numerous benefits to buying a green home from saving money on your utility bills, to conserving precious resources. Whatever the reason, it greatly reduces the heavy load on our planet. When it’s time to sell your home, it may have higher resale value than homes without energy-saving features as more homebuyers educate themselves about their benefits and seek out these types of properties.

Green homes have lower energy costs due to many factors including water, energy & resource conservation. Water is saved and conserved thru such practices as Xeroscaping, tankless water heaters, low flow toilets, showerheads, and rainwater recatchment systems. Energy Star appliances also save the homeowner money while cutting energy usage and utility bills.

Manufacturers have developed materials used by green builders that can cut up to 30% to 40% of your energy bill with such products as radiant barrier decking in your attic, low E windows, and cement fiberboard 50-year siding. Most builders use it today when building homes as the cost is cheaper than brick or stone, yet considered just as durable. Check out my article on the USGBC Green Home Guide about Hardiplank.

Solar panels are another great option for saving money on rising energy bills by storing and using your own energy. There are some fabulous federal and state rebates that make it a perfect time to buy solar PV panels for your home or office and the cost of solar PV panels has dropped significantly. (Not all properties would work with solar as it will depend a lot on trees, the direction of the building, etc…) That is where a great solar company comes in such as Lifeline Energy. They are a solar PV panel manufacturer and the exclusive solar provider for Habitat for Humanity. Another great solar company for Latin America is Poderco. My friend and owner of the company has been involved in solar energy since the ’70s and is an expert on the subject. He is a huge player in the energy sector. Tesla, the great carmaker is now developing solar shingles that will change the face of solar for years to come.

There are many other green choices when building or retrofitting an existing home. As a Texas Realtor for the past 24 years & a NAR GREEN Real Estate Designee for the past 6 years, (Click here for my NAR Green Press Release).I know what it takes to find a green home or home builder that will fit your needs. I am a member of the NAR Green Resource Council and the USGBC Central TX Chapter where I periodically answer questions for the U.S. Green Builders Council’s “Green Home Guide“. I strive to stay up to date on the latest in green home building and energy trends from solar panels/wafers to WiTricity and beyond. I attend green-related events like Solar San Antonio, etc.. to learn new things and meet people that are changing the world and our future with their green ideas. Check out some of my blog posts about speakers and sessions at 2016's SXSW Eco 3-day conference in Austin, TX. I attend annually since its inception 5 years ago.

Michelle Doerr

Texas Licensed Real Estate Broker #0424230
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