If you’re looking to purchase a new home, there are many advantages to buying a home that has energy efficient features. These may be homes in a new housing development, a modular or manufactured home, or an existing home that was upgraded by the current owner.
Energy features can include any of the following: solar heating, solar water-heating, geothermal electric, lighting systems, thermostats, windows, insulation, home appliances, and much more.
There are many incentives, such as federal tax credits and rebates. Reducing your home energy consumption helps the environment.
Here’s what to look for when searching for a home:
Homes are built with durable materials for long-term sustainability and lower replacement costs. The builder’s materials are made from renewable sources that did not harm or burden the environment.
Energy Star Rated
You’ll see the Energy Star logo on appliances, lightbulbs, windows, ceiling fans, building materials, and more. Energy Star-rated homes are built with high efficiency heating, cooling, and watering systems throughout the home, as well as energy-efficient windows and appliances.
Green Building (or LEED-Certified)
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification system for buildings and housing communities. Any home that is described as green-built or LEED-certified must pass certain performance energy-saving standards.
A home energy rating is an analysis of a home’s energy efficiency according to the “Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index.” Inspections are completed by certified home energy raters, and the home is given a score, along with a list of recommendations. If you’re considering a home that was upgraded by the homeowner, ask to see a copy of the HERS report, or other professionally-completed energy audit.
The majority of state housing finance agencies offer energy improvement grants, and there are special mortgage programs for energy efficient loans for FHA, VA and conventional programs. It’s all explained in Housing Finance 2020.