Last week we took a look at three different standards in energy efficient and green construction: Energy Star, HERS rating, and LEED. Today we are expanding on the positive impact that energy usage awareness can have on your life, your community, and your environment.
Energy costs increase steadily every year. While homeowners can’t decrease the price, they can better control how much they spend without sacrificing heating or cooling by having a home that meets HERS, Energy Star, or LEEDS standards. Homes that meet these standards require less energy to provide a comfortable living space.
Meeting any one of these three standards in a home has a direct impact on savings because using less energy means spending less money. Energy efficient homes can afford the ability to save upwards to $75 a month on utility bills. Saving money on for low-income families in Appalachia is incredibly important due to the lack of good paying jobs. The idiom, “a penny saved is a penny earned,” is quite right when the money saved on utility bills can be applied to food, medicine, and other essentials.
Homes built to energy efficient standards are generally newer and built to a higher quality meaning that families may have to spend less time and money on repairs and upkeep.
Energy efficient building practices also have a less harmful impact on the environment. One technique known as adaptive rehabilitation, takes an existing building, reuses what is still useful, and then retrofits the building with energy efficient components such as windows, passive water heating, and proper insulation. By using adaptive rehabilitation, there is less waste generated into landfills from demolition, there is less lumber required, there is also less of a chance of pollution to both the air and water, which is a growing concern in Appalachia.
Homes built to LEED, HERS, and Energy Star regulations last longer and help to ensure a better quality of housing stock for families and for the local workforce.
A higher quality housing stock offers many communities a more stable tax base that increases their ability to improve schools, medical services, and protective services such a police and fire fighters.
So while energy efficiency benefits not only the homeowner it also benefits our community and environment making our cities a better place to live for everyone.
If you want to learn more about energy efficiency or it’s usage within the Fahe network, leave a question in the comment section below.