What is a Green Home?
The definition of a “Green Building” can vary widely depending on who you ask. Green buildings are often constructed in a way and/or with building materials that result in less pollution during construction and energy-consumption over the lifetime of the building. Green features can range from energy-saving features to being zero-net energy (a building that produces all of the energy it consumes).
Why Green Homes Are A Good Investment
Helps Reduce Costs:
- U.S. Census: On average, energy costs are higher than either property tax or insurance for U.S. homes at $2,506 per year
- Studies show a sales premium of 2% to 6% for designated energy efficient homes.
- Remodeling Report: Attic insulation achieves highest return on investment of all home improvement projects studied at 116.9%
- Attic Insulation averaged the cheapest upgrade at $1,268
Improves Quality of Life:
- NARI Report: Energy improvements are good investments that bring financial relief and “joy”
- Insulation Upgrade: 61% say greater desire to be home, 95% same or increased sense of enjoyment, and 66% major sense of accomplishment
- DOE’s Home Rx Report: Energy efficient homes can improve occupant health outcomes related to asthma, hypertension, and allergies.
Why Green Buildings are Important For the Environment
According to the International Energy Agency, the global buildings sector is responsible for 30% of final energy consumption and more than 55% of global electricity demand. Buildings and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. That is a big piece of the pie. To address the climate change issues that we are facing, we will have to shift to “greener” building practices and design.
California has been a leader in this movement, setting a goal to make all new residential buildings net zero energy by 2020. You can read more about this initiative here. When you buy a green home, you can not only save money, but help contribute to a movement towards sustainable living.
Finding Green Homes in Santa Cruz
Buying a green home in Santa Cruz may seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be! We live and work in this county, and know where you can find homes with a variety of green building features. If you are interested in exploring this option, contact us!