In North Carolina, eco-friendly homes are trending.
For a long time, millennials preferred renting over buying. Now, millennials are beginning to purchase homes; many of these homes are eco-friendly.
You may be wondering: What exactly makes a house eco-friendly? And why is eco-friendly housing so popular?
We break down what it means for a home to be eco-friendly and why so many homebuyers are choosing this option over traditional housing:
What exactly does ‘eco-friendly’ mean?
Eco-friendly homes (aka ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ homes) use less energy than conventional homes.
An eco-house (or eco-home) may take advantage of solar panels, natural light, or energy efficient appliances to cut down on energy use, save money, and protect the environment.
Contractors building green homes use materials that are sustainably sourced, like wood. It takes far less energy to process timber for construction use than it takes to produce concrete or steel.
Also, properly harvested forests are renewable, absorb CO2, and ensure a biodiverse habitat. Eco-friendly builders may use local products, reducing fuel costs and travel emissions.
What are the advantages to having an eco-friendly home?
Eco-friendly homes are important for the same reasons that recycling and water conservation are important.
Waste production markedly increases each year. Single-use products like plastic grocery bags or Keurig coffee pods have lasting effects on the environment. Waste is piling up on our beaches, neighborhoods, and even hiking trails.
Less Emissions & Energy Consumption
Eco-friendly homes reduce environmental damage by incorporating earthbags, logs, stones, recyclables, bamboo, and straw in their construction. Green homes drawn on natural, sustainable resources like sunlight, wind, and earth to help provide warmth and power. In turn, homeowners are forced to rely less on electricity to do things like heat their home.
Therefore, green homes lessen the amount of emissions and energy consumption humans emit every day.
Other benefits of making your home more eco-friendly include: lower maintenance requirements, consistent temperature, higher quality air, and, subsequently, improved health.
How much money can homeowners save with an eco-friendly house?
Eco-friendly homes don’t just save the environment, they save homeowners money!
Back in 2008, the US Department of Energy reported that Americans saved over $19 billion by employing energy saving measures and investing in energy efficient homes.
Eco-Friendly Home Features
The specific features you choose for your home determine your total monthly savings on utility bills. For instance, an energy efficient water heater can reduce energy use by 10-15%.
For the top Tax Deductions and Tax Credits for Homeowners in 2019, click here.
A big way to save with an eco-friendly home is installing solar panels. Solar installations absorb sunlight and convert it into energy to provide power to the house. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), North Carolina currently ranks #2 in the nation in residential rooftop installations. More than 660,000 houses in North Carolina have solar panels.
“Residential solar installations in North Carolina save the average, 2,000 square foot house approximately $2,200 per year,” says Greg Olenar, Vice President of NC Solar Now.
Energy Star Certification
Some houses are Energy Star-qualified. This means that they have met the government’s high energy efficiency standards. Energy Star certified-homes often include highly efficient appliances, well-performing interior air systems, and efficient insulation. While an Energy Star certification is not a requirement for an eco-home, Energy Star homes save homeowners about $200 to $400 a year on utility costs.
The Bottom Line
Eco-friendly homes have important environmental benefits and save homeowners money on energy costs. Therefore, you should aim to lower your carbon footprint to save hundreds of dollars per year.
Want to learn more ways to improve your home’s resale value?
Check out this article on how to make your home a ‘smart’ home.