Is Your Home Healthy?

Research completed by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University found that consumers are increasingly worried about the link between health and everyday environmental exposures. In its study, Healthy Home Remodeling: Consumer Trends and Contractor Preparedness, the Joint Center found that indoor air quality ranked as the leading source of concern. Scientific advancements…

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Fabulous Prefabs

If you own land, or are able to purchase a buildable lot, there are many opportunities for building your own home. Generally called “factory-built homes,” most of the work is completed in a climate-controlled manufacturing facility. Delivery and completion timetables let homebuyers move into their new home much sooner than with a traditional “stick-built” home.…

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How to lower your carbon footprint

It’s the little things that you can do each day that make a difference on your household carbon footprint. The chart lists a number of small changes that can save you money and help protect our environment. Even if you don’t own a home, certain changes can be made on a rented house or apartment.…

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Roll the cost of an energy-efficiency retrofit into your mortgage

You can finance energy improvements with your mortgage with programs from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and Rural Housing. Also, most state-chartered housing finance agencies offer “green mortgage” programs and incentives for refinancing or new purchases. Mortgage qualifying rules for energy-efficient homes have been expanded by mortgage agencies due to the potential savings in…

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The U.S. Solar Investment Tax Credit

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar, bottom-line reduction on your income taxes. Under the U.S. Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program, if you purchase and install a solar energy system in 2022, you can receive a federal income tax credit of 26%. The credit will be 22% for systems installed in 2023. Let’s say you…

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Lease a solar energy system for your home with a Power Purchase Agreement

Instead of buying a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, you can lease it through a power purchase agreement (PPA). PPAs are financial arrangements in which a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the renewable energy system. Solar power purchase agreements are called SPPAs. Under an SPPA,  you agree to site the system on your property and purchase…

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DIY Projects to Save Energy: Adding Insulation

An important step in reducing energy in your home includes adding more insulation. As long as you follow the product manufacturer’s “safe handling instructions,” DIY (do-it-yourself) insulation projects can often fit within your budget and completed in a weekend. Eco-friendly options include products made from recycled newsprint and blue jeans Many different types of insulation…

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Fabulous Prefabs: an affordable option for first-time homebuyers

You might be thinking, “will I ever be able to own a home?” The good news is that there are many options for homes that are both affordable and sustainable. The construction industry has traditionally consisted of “stick-built” homes, which are labor-intensive, and can take many months, depending upon weather conditions. The majority of construction…

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What is a “net zero” home?

Think of your home as an electric meter working backwards. When averaged over the course of 12 months, if your solar or other renewable energy system generates the same amount of energy as your house consumes, the effect is known as “net zero.” “Positive energy” is the result of your system producing more electricity than…

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