If you are building a new home today, it pays to consider integrating zero energy principles in your design. Zero energy homes are future-proof, making them a sound investment for anyone serious about owning property. People think that this type of home is too expensive, but innovations in the field are closing the margin for mainstream buyers. Here are things you should know about zero energy builds.
Zero Energy Homes Have a Good ROI
According to the Zero Energy Project, building a zero energy ready home means thousands of dollars in energy savings for homes across the U.S. For example, assuming electricity costs will increase at a rate of two percent per year, an initial investment of $2,694 in a San Francisco home will bring back energy savings amounting to $15,720. The figure varies between states, but all homeowners stand to recoup upwards of $400 in their first year alone.
Zero Energy Homes Can Also Be Affordable
It is possible to trim down your initial investment by intentionally choosing energy-saving materials, products and techniques. For example, you could design a smaller open-concept home. There are many ways to design a smaller home and make it feel spacious, including using furniture that doubles as storage, painting the walls white, and using plenty of mirrors, among others.
Also, take advantage of the financial incentives available for energy-efficient builds. Many states, for example, offer tax credits, and some areas also have utility incentives and rebates. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency or DSIRE will have more information on these.
Zero Energy Means Lower Foreclosure Rates
According to a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina and the Institute for Market Transformation, energy-efficient homes are less likely to default on mortgage payments. The study shows that homes that save more energy have lower foreclosure rates—default risks, on average, are 32 percent lower for these houses.
Zero Energy Homes Have Higher Resale Value
What’s more, a zero energy home has high resale value. Since they are built for sustainability, buyers will still be interested in them years from now. Realtors already include energy efficiency features in their computations of homes’ value, and potential home buyers include energy efficiency as a significant driver for their desire to acquire new property.
People are also willing to pay a little more for energy-saving features. For example, a certified energy-efficient home can sell higher per square foot than standard properties, and they are on the market for a shorter period. This is reflected in a study conducted by the Institute for Market Transformation and the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment. In the study, researchers found that highlighting a home’s green features results in a mean premium of 3.46 percent compared to traditional homes.
Owning a zero energy home means reaping incredible returns on your investment, especially when minimizing the cost differential. High-performance homes with green features are affordable because they are built to last and use fewer non-renewable resources. Overall, these types of homes are a worthy investment for anyone who wants to secure their future.
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