What’s The Price Of Going Green?

One of the things you might want to look at if you’re thinking of ‘going green’ with your home is how long the payback takes. Having said that, I would hope that you’d keep in the back of your head two things:

  1. Making your home more green can mean more comfort.
  2. Focusing on green solutions for your home is good for the environment.

Now, what’s the pay-off in dollars? That’s a constant debate and it really depends on how far you’re willing to go and also what you have to work with. Are you living in a 100+ year old Victorian home with no insulation? Or in contrast, are you contemplating new construction?

You have some really fantastic choices today and so many of them are worth close inspection. Do your research carefully and see what’s best for your lifestyle and your personal value system. If you do that, you’ll be happy with the result even if the straight financial short-term payoff is slightly off your original target.

Here are some worthwhile insights:

Roofs and Roofing Materials:

You can think of your roof in terms of simply a way of keeping the rain and snow off your head, or you can look at it as an opportunity to harness energy; perhaps enough energy to completely power your home’s electricity needs.

I have neighbors who have covered the entire south-facing section of their roof with photo voltaic panels. Much different from the solar panels of the 1970’s, these are very low-profile and much more efficient.

Sunslates solar-electric glass-faced tiles can supply energy via cables under the roof. Cost: 100 sq ft installed: $15,000. (compare to standard fiber-cement tiles: Cost: 100 sq ft installed, $1,200.)

It’s a remarkable difference but you’ll have to measure the potential cost savings of the energy you’ll capture and see what the eventual return on investment (ROI) can be. Another point worth checking: many local energy suppliers will buy back excess electric energy you produce. See if your utility provider will let you ‘sell back to the grid’ your excess energy.

More later.

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