In recent years there has been a large increase in demand for energy-efficient appliances, residential solar panels, wind turbines, etc. Some of that may have been as a result of people becoming more environmentally-aware, some because people wanted to lower their electric bills and some simply because of the Federal Tax Credits in place for consumer energy efficiency.
Anyone who is even considering making energy-efficient changes to their home would be smart to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credits, especially since some are only in effect until Dec 31, 2010. The variety of energy-efficient products or renewable energy systems that qualify include biomass stoves, natural gas furnaces, asphalt roofs with “cooling granules”, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines, solar energy systems (solar water heaters and/or solar panels), fuel cells, some ENERGY STAR appliances and more. Just imagine how much this family saves on their energy bills!
Think about it, if major companies are taking advantage of the sun and wind to help lower their expenses, why shouldn’t you? Solar and wind power alone have come a long way. Did you know there have been major breakthroughs in solar that may allow us to someday (soon) paint solar cells on our homes? And even today, instead of using flat solar panels attached to your roof, you can opt for solar tiles that fit the exact shape of your existing roof. Why change the aesthetics of your home when you can get solar tiles that blend in, right?
The viewpoint on wind turbines has even shifted so much that a recent study found that wind farms had no significant impact on local property values. Even homes within 10 miles of wind facilities weren’t being adversely affected. Does that mean more wind farms are going to go up near you? Who knows, but hopefully it means that more people will check it out and see if wind power is right for them.
Even brand new residential communities are being built with solar tiles, highly efficient HVAC systems, tank-less water systems, energy-saving lighting, etc. So, take a moment and consider what energy-efficient modifications you could and should make to your home. If you can do something that’s better for the environment and saves you money in the process, do it. I’d love to know what energy-efficient modifications you’ve made already!