If you are one of those people who are concerned about the environment and the effects of humans on the state of the planet, then green home improvements are most probably something you are already seriously considering. Perhaps you even started introducing such solutions to your home.
However, even if you are still somewhat skeptical about how much of an effect humans as a species have on the environment, you should definitely consider green home improvements for a very simple reason.
This reason, of course, is that such improvements can significantly increase the value of your home should you decide or sell it in the future. Even if not, green home improvements can help you save money. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Different Types of Green Home Improvements
Before we get into the whole increased home value thing and the ways in which you can finance these green home improvements, we should say a thing or two about the different choices that you have in front of you.
On the cheaper end of the spectrum, you have solutions such as big ceiling fans which consume only a fraction of the electricity needed to power an A/C system and which are surprisingly effective at cooling down a room. In many countries in the Mediterranean, like Malta for example, most homes do not even have A/C and they employ ceiling fans for all their cooling needs.
Another way to cut down on the amount of energy you spend on your A/C is by installing a programmable thermostat which will allow you to keep your home at the perfect temperature without the need to blast it full on once you come back to a hot or cold home.
There are also plenty of bathroom green improvements that will save you both water and electricity. Conserving water is just as important as reducing the waste of electricity, especially in certain parts of the world. California is probably the most obvious example in the U.S., as a state that is facing a serious water shortage in the very foreseeable future.
Of course, you can always go for the more elaborate and comprehensive green home improvements, such as installing a solar panel system or redoing the insulation on your entire home.
Different green home improvements will require investments on a different scale. For example, getting a ceiling fan is not going to cost you more than a fine dinner for four at a fancy restaurant. On the other hand, installing solar panels can be quite costly.
One thing to remember here is that, for the most part, green home improvements will save you money on the long run, while also increasing the value of your home, should you wish to sell it. There is a great article on how green improvements increase property value on the Boston Globe website.
Finally, there are also certain ways in which you can make your investment in your green improvements more affordable. One such way is PACE financing.
PACE Financing 101
PACE stands for property assessed clean energy and this type of financing involves the homeowners who wish to install green improvements to their property, the state and local governments which implement PACE programs to help their citizens go green, as well as companies that provide the actual financial means to put these programs through.
This is best explained on a case. We will use Ygrene, one of the country’s few PACE financing companies as an example. Let’s say that you wish to put up a solar panel system on your home, but the initial investment is too pricy. You reach out to Ygrene (or some other company available in your area) and they pay for the whole system. You immediately start saving money on your energy bills and you only start paying them back after a certain amount of time has passed.
Once you start repaying, this becomes part of your property tax and you pay it that way. One thing to point out is that interest rates are tax-deductible, meaning that you are only paying for the principal. If you decide to sell the home, the repayments stay with the home, meaning that you do not keep paying for the improvements you no longer use.
All in all, it makes for a much better way to finance your green home improvements, especially since these programs are usually overseen by state or local governments which prevents shady stuff that often comes with novel financing methods.
The time was never better to start installing green home improvements to your home, especially with financing options like PACE. These improvements will reduce your bills, increase the value of your property and, what may turn out to be the most important factor, these improvements will also help conserve the environment.
AUTHOR: James Burbank has spent too many years in the trade show industry. He usually blogs about business, but from time to time, he likes to do an article on one of his main passions – green living. Check him out on Twitter – @JBurbank2019.