Live in a Home that Pays You Back

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Friesen Press

Release Date: July 21, 2021
Published by: Friesen Press
Pages: 234
ISBN13: 9781039123489


A Complete Guide to Net Zero and Energy-efficient Homes 

Winner of Two National Book Awards

Audiobook (Amazon)

Whether you are planning to build, buy, or retrofit a home, this illuminating book takes you on a virtual tour of the home of the future. Award-winning author and respected housing expert Anna DeSimone lights the way for enjoying a home that is healthier, more comfortable, saves money, and reduces your carbon footprint. A practical reference guide that can be used for years to come, this book uncovers every part and parcel of the sustainable home, with clear explanations, helpful infographics, and hundreds of follow-up resources. Features programs and resources for U.S. and Canada. 

  • An eye-opening look at the health benefits of energy-efficient homes, trends in household energy use, and its effect on greenhouse gas emissions. Explains a home’s true cost of homeownership after factoring lowered utility costs, enhanced property value, mortgage discounts, and other financial incentives. Learn how smart home technology helps monitor the health and safety of your family and pets. Important guidance about environmental toxins and biological pollutants.
  • Renewable energy options covered include solar photovoltaic systems, wind energy, geothermal, hydro-electric power, and biomass. You’ll learn the infrastructure for grid-connected systems, billing credits, net metering, solar power purchase agreements, renewable energy certificates, and how positive energy can bring cash rewards.
  • The “whole-house efficiency blueprint,” chapter describes how things work, along with eco-friendly options for roofs, siding, insulation, doors, windows, lighting, appliances, water conservation, heating, cooling, ventilation, heat pumps, air- and heat-exchange systems, indoor air quality, and more.
  • Learn about the popular “zero energy ready” program, a high-performance home that is pre-wired with a renewable energy component. National green-building certification programs are covered, such as Net Zero, Passive Home, Zero Carbon, LEED, etc. for the U.S. and Canada. The home building opportunities chapter will inspire you to roll up your sleeves and be the general contractor, explaining  construction steps for modular, manufactured, log and timber, and prefab home kits. 
  • Everything you need to know about home energy scores and ratings, including programs by the U.S. Department of Energy, RESNET HERS, and Canada EnerGuide.
  • Mortgage financing chapter covers down payment assistance, nationwide energy-efficient mortgage programs, PACE financing, mortgage qualification guides, and how to roll the retrofit costs into the mortgage. Features programs for U.S. and Canada.

Comprehensive directory of rebates and incentives for all U.S. states and Canada provinces. Find out about cash rebates and financial incentives from utility companies and local municipalities, along with key local government policies such as solar and wind access rights, and net metering laws.

Check out Anna's Podcast


Audio book is available on Amazon, Apple, and iTunes. Listen to the audio book sample



Winner of two national food awards: Living Now Silver Medal in Nature Conservation, and the Pinnacle Award.

View sample chapters and complete table of contents

See the reviews on GoodReads


"An authoritative and comprehensive overview of the benefits of energy-efficient homes." -- Kirkus Reviews

"DeSimone, an expert on housing market trends and mortgage financing and the author of Welcome to the Agrihood(2020), makes a convincing case for the myriad advantages of a sustainable building. It doesn’t have to be new construction, she says; one can retrofit a century-old home to achieve “net zero” environmental impact status. Investing in environmentally friendly and energy-efficient materials and technologies, she notes, improves the community’s health, comfort, and well-being, while reducing the home’s carbon footprint. She also stresses that the immediate and long-term cost savings of energy-efficient and sustainable homes are substantial; for example, sustainable materials often last longer with less need for expensive maintenance, repair, or replacement. The book also highlights the fact that there are currently more than 2,000 financial incentives available to residential homeowners in the U.S. and Canada, including rebates, specialized financing, and tax breaks for energy efficiency. The author compiles useful information from a wide range of sources to help homeowners and prospective buyers make informed decisions. The text covers green construction techniques; structural materials; heating, cooling, and ventilation; power and water management; renewable energy; certifications such as EnergyStar and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; assessments and appraisals, financing, and more."  [Read entire Kirkus Review]


What people are saying...

"Live in a Home That Pays You Back is probably one of the most educational and deeply expansive discourses about energy-efficient homes that I have read to date. What fascinates me so much about it is Anna Desimone’s great effort in her research. Every piece of information she gave out was backed by research and cited with reputable sources that really put the reader at ease and assured of the knowledge that they are absorbing. I found myself fully trusting the author’s words, given how knowledgeable and authoritative the tone of her writing was. It was such a great experience to read this book and learn so much. I may not use what I learned in the near future yet, but they are really good things to know."  --GoodReads

"This is a great companion for homeowners, especially for people that are planning on building or purchasing a new house. Some of the information in there I wish I had known before."  --Net Galley