A Case for Energy Efficient Housing

At NW LifeStyle Homes, we aim to be the most innovative in design and function. Part of our design process includes ideas of what make a house energy efficient for homeowners. In an article on AOL Real Estate, energy efficient housing isn’t as difficult as it has been made to be. While it may not be available to everyone, there are options for creating an energy efficient or even zero-energy home.

Years ago, it was difficult to build a very energy efficient house because there was a lack of technology and materials — such as extremely energy efficient insulation and triple-pane windows. The cost for solar panels was also high and subsidies were non-existent. Today this is not the case. We know how to build houses to substantially reduce the use of fossil fuel and energy costs. You might then ask: Why aren’t all houses built to a much higher energy standard?

One reason for not building to higher energy efficiency is the cost. Homeowners wrongfully assume that it will cost a great deal more to build a more energy efficient house. In 2010, Habitat for Humanity built a house in Vermont to Passive House standards, using a tiny bit of energy and at a minimal cost. Many other houses have also been built in this country and around the world that are moderately priced and extremely energy efficient.

Nobody can say exactly what the return on the additional investment will be for all houses — it varies with the products and systems used, location and the efficiency achieved. Most people, however, can agree that their heating and cooling bills are substantially less than those of their neighbors with less-efficient houses.

There is an assumption that very energy efficient houses are not particularly attractive. But evidenced by the houses in this country and around the world — this is definitely not the case. Furthermore, the environmental and financial savings pose a strong case for building an energy efficient or even zero-energy home.

Visit AOL Real Estate for the full article.

Image via AOL Real Estate

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