By Rich Rodenburg, Nebraska Home Sales REALTOR®
Some of us remember long lines at the gas pumps and extremely high energy costs. When that happened, economy cars became very popular, and people started making their homes more energy efficient.
If you believe in global warming, and are trying to reduce your own carbon footprint, or if you are just watching your wallet, making your house more “green” makes good sense.
When building a new home, certain codes now require energy saving construction. Appliances have also become much more efficient. Many builders can go even more efficient than what is required.
If you own an existing home, it is wise to do an energy check and make amends where possible. Extra insulation pays for itself in a short time. Old drafty windows should be addressed. If you have to replace a furnace, look into a high efficiency system. Our heat pump recently went out, and after doing the math, we opted to install geo-thermal, using the temperature of the ground to heat and cool the house. With rebates and tax credits, it was not much more expensive, and will pay for itself in just a few years.
LES has a Sustainable Energy Program. This includes insulation upgrades for older homes and an incentive for customers who opt for high efficient heat pumps or air conditioners. For more information on the program customers can visit LES.com/sep.
A leaky faucet or toilet that runs intermittently wastes a tremendous amount of water. A one-drop-per-second leak wastes 3,000 gallons/year, or enough to take 180 showers.
Switching to LED bulbs can save a lot of money (and lower your carbon footprint).
When you sell your home, buyers will appreciate the energy efficiency features. Your asking price may reflect energy improvements to your home. Many home buyers ask for utility records before offering on a home.
So, even if you are not planning to move soon, please do your part to save the planet, and your budget. GO GREEN. SAVE GREEN. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!