Thursday, June 14, 2012

Green Building

I am just about half way through the final course for my Green Designation and I am wondering how much consumers care about being green.

A study I looked at indicated that the number of people that say that reducing energy costs is important is on the upswing yet most surveyed had only taken minimal steps if any to reduce consumption. Perhaps they switched to energy efficient compact fluorescents or LEDs.

I know that energy efficiency renovations to an existing home can be very expensive. And it takes many years to recoup those costs through the money saved.

But when it comes to new homes is the average consumer willing to pay more for their home in order to save money on utilities or to be more environmentally friendly? And even if they are willing to pay more will the bank see the added value and loan the extra money? That may be a bigger challenge right there. If the consumer is willing to pay but the appraisal doesn't match the cost the buyer must come out of pocket for the difference or not buy the house. Then a builder would be stuck with a home he couldn't get appraised for the cost.

So it seems that builders would be reluctant to start green projects for fear of not being able to sell them. And when we go back to the renovation issue the costs far outweigh the savings, so a consumer would have to be "committed to the cause" in order to spend the money.

We have many things to consider here in El Paso when it comes to being green and sustainability issues. In addition to saving electricity we need to consider water conservation issues, recycling, and waste management.

Stay tuned for future posts about low cost conservation measures we can take to help preserve our environment and save some money too.

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