Posted originally on The Ecologist By: Emily Folk| 21st May 2019
Homeowners have access to a diverse range of renovations which reduce their carbon emissions and environmental impact. Of these renovations, they’ll often choose improvements with the greatest effect on their energy bills. It’s a common motivation for investment in energy efficiency, and perfectly valid.
At the same time, some individuals see energy savings as a secondary benefit, not their primary motivation. They’re aware of the effects of their energy consumption, and they want to give back — not to themselves, but to the planet. Naturally, these individuals are strategic with the renovations they select.
The question is: Which sustainable home changes are the most beneficial for the environment? When an eco-conscious homeowner is evaluating all of their available options, which among them will make the greatest impact on the planet? We’ll look at some of the leading improvements in greater detail.
As stated earlier, homeowners have access to a diverse range of renovations, many of which are beneficial in reducing their environmental impact.
- Solar energy systems
- Geothermal heat pump
- Green roofs
If homeowners are unsure how to proceed, they should
Homeowners will enjoy a significant reduction in their installation costs when they pursue renewable energy tax credits. Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, these tax credits are available for solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines and fuel cells. The following dates are important.
If a homeowner places a system in service before Dec. 31, 2019, they may save
Then again, these homeowners still have to qualify for the tax credits. If they intend to invest in a solar panel installation, that system must provide energy for the residence. However, the homeowner can still take advantage of renewable energy tax credits even if the solar panels aren’t for their principal residence.
Concerning the installation of geothermal heat pumps, homeowners have to meet the requirements of the ENERGY STAR program in effect at the time of the expenditure. It may seem like a small concession, but interested homeowners should note these details if they want to pursue renewable energy in the future.
In short, those who intend to transition to renewable energy should research the subject as they continue. Sustainable improvements for energy efficiency are far more affordable when homeowners take
When homeowners assess the three renovations above, review their different payment options and seek professional advice, they’ll feel far more secure in their decisions as they move forward. They’ll have an informed understanding of sustainable home improvements, as well as strategies to reduce the costs of installation.
That said, solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps and green roofs aren’t always available for homeowners on a limited budget. When this is the case, they should seek changes within their price range. While the renovations above are some of the most effective, even a small change can make a big difference.
Emily Folk is a conservation and sustainability writer and the editor of Conservation Folks.