The net cost of owning a green home can be comparable to that of owning a conventional home – sometimes even less.
On average, green homes can add 2.42% additional upfront costs as compared to conventional homes, according to the Costs and Benefits of Green Affordable Housing Study 2005. However, those costs will typically be quickly recouped, and homeowners will be saving money for the rest of the home’s lifespan due to:
Lower Utility Costs:
The average U.S. family spends nearly $1,500 on home energy bills per year, according to the U.S. government’s ENERGY STAR program. Green home features can lower energy bills dramatically. Based on the average Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores of homes certified under LEED for Homes in 2008, predicted energy savings can be up to 30% for homes certified at the basic LEED-Certified level; LEED-Platinum homes have average predicted energy use reductions of 50-60%. In case studies of LEED-certified homes, builders project water savings of 20-50%, sometimes even higher. Decreased operating expenditures alone can more than pay for the incremental initial investment in greening a home.
There are numerous Energy Optimization programs sponsored by utility companies in the state of Michigan. Through varying avenues these programs aid low-income households in reducing their utility usage. To access an interactive map of Energy Optimization programs in Michigan click the link here.
Lower Health Costs:
Airborne pollutants are 2-5 times higher indoors than outdoors. Truly green homes implement strategies that aim to improve a home’s ventilation, exposing residents to more clean, fresh air. They use paints, adhesives and other products that emit little or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to respiratory health. They address moisture control concerns to create a healthier indoor climate.
Higher Resale Value:
It’s predicted that green homes will be on the market for less time and possibly have a higher resale value than comparable conventional homes, according to the 2007 McGraw-Hill SmartMarket Report on Attitudes & Preferences for Remodeling and Buying Green Homes. Consumers are increasingly looking to homes that save energy and water and have healthier indoor air, the report found, and green homes’ share of the overall housing market continues to grow every year.
The use of more-durable materials and equipment can result in reduced replacement costs and provide additional life-cycle financial benefits.
(“Cost of Green Building”. USGBC. Accessed 20 March 2009.)
Above is an article from the U.S. Department of Energy containing the most cost-effective construction practices to focus on.