Green Home Remodeling Portland ME
As a wave of environmental awareness continues to take the world by storm, it is important for property owners to recognize that there are many shades of green. Even on a small budget, improved energy efficiency can have a variety of benefits. Environmental gains will appear through drastic decreases in water consumption and electricity use, and satisfaction will come in the form of economic dividends. These include lower energy costs, qualification for tax breaks and rebates and the ability to market a property to buyers or tenants as being environmentally friendly.
Most “green” building publicity in the past has gone to new construction projects and their pursuit of LEED certification . While the program is admirable, it excludes almost all real estate investors who own structures built long before architecture paid any mind to environmental concerns. For this reason, it is crucial for some attention to shift towards the many inexpensive energy efficiency solutions relevant to all existing properties.
Large corporations such as Wal-Mart look to industry leaders such as Amory Lovins, co-founder of The Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy efficiency research and consulting firm, for advice on efficiency increases. Lovins, who coined the term “negawatt” in the keynote speech at the 1989 Green Energy Conference in Montreal.said significant corporate profits can be attained through decreases in energy demands. Originally a macro idea, this mindset can be utilized on a smaller scale by owners of both residential and commercial property.
Energy efficiency projects come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from as simple as changing light bulbs to as complex as performing a complete remodel. One great source for detailed renovation ideas is the book Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time, written by David Johnston and Kim Master in 2004. Remodeling an entire building will result in the largest efficiency gains, but can become quite expensive. Often, when cost is a major concern, making a few minor changes will be the most practical strategy.
Efficient shower heads conserve both energy and water and are easy to install The easiest and least expensive solutions involve lighting, showerheads and thermostats. Regular incandescent light bulbs use technology that has been obsolete for some time; they lose most of their energy as heat instead of light. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use about 75 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light, and will last up to 10 times longer. While they may cost a few dollars more up front, each CFL bulb will save around $30 in energy costs over its lifetime according to Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Replacing showerheads is also an easy, low-priced and painless adjustment. Showers account for 18 percent of indoor water use and 37 percent of a home’s hot water use, accord...