Top 15 Green Home Improvements: Costs in 2022 – Home Energy Efficiency

All major home remodeling efforts demand careful consideration and planning. When tackling an energy efficient home upgrade, that task can truly expand exponentially. It is imperative that you utilize a whole-house system approach to the project to wring the most value from your efforts.

Did you know? Home Energy savings realized in one segment of your property can easily be gobbled up by neglecting to pay attention to other energy-sapping culprits — With that in mind, let’s look at some of the popular energy-saving home improvement projects and take a stab at evaluating their value…

1. Smart Home Energy Audit

energy-audit-thermal-image via Henges Insulation

Your first step is to engage a professional energy audit of your house ($300-$500 by a trained energy expert although you may be able to wrangle one for less – or even free – from your local utility eager to reduce its power burden). This will factor into your home remodel plans such vital actors as site conditions, your local climate, your home’s micro-climate, the state of your current heating and cooling environment versus your required needs and so on.

Hey, this is already the early 2022, so much of this work can be accomplished by a computer simulation! 😉 Once the energy audit is complete, you will not only have specific goals for the reduced utility and home maintenance costs, but also ideas for a healthier and safer interior living environment that will increase the physical comfort, energy efficiency, and dampen noise levels.

A professional home energy audit should also include any local state incentives and tax breaks you are in line to receive for embarking on energy-saving projects.

A typical home energy audit will uncover opportunities to improve energy efficiency and comfort of your home by sealing the air leaks and drafts and upgrading the level of insulation in critical areas such as crawl spaces, wall cavities, and attic where there might be thermal energy loss due to inadequate insulation.

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Solar Panel Pros and Cons – Are Solar Panels Worth the Cost?

If you are one of the many homeowners considering the installation of solar panels on your home’s rooftop, then undoubtedly one of the burning questions on your mind is whether the pros of solar energy outweigh the cons when it comes to solar panels for homes.

A new asphalt shingle roof with PV solar panels

Let’s examine the main benefits and drawbacks of residential solar energy systems to help you make a well-informed decision.

Advantages:

  1. Dramatic reduction in price per watt installed
  2. Short payback period
  3. Reduced reliance on power grid
  4. Electric energy price security
  5. Ample federal tax credits and local incentives
  6. Mandatory net metering rules
  7. Solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs)
  8. Clean renewable energy source
  9. Increased property values
  10. It’s easy to find a quality solar installer

Disadvantages:

  1. May not be suitable for some homes
  2. Won’t work during a blackout or power outage (unless…)
  3. Poor installation may lead to fire hazards
  4. Poor quality installation may lead to premature roof leaks
  5. The weight of solar panels can put excessive stress on the roof-frame
  6. Pollution and environmental hazards
  7. The “bulky” look of solar panels may turn off some people
  8. No energy production at night
  9. Solar battery storage is expensive
  10. Use of rare earth metals

Benefits and Advantages:

1. Dramatic reduction in the cost per installed watt

One of the strongest benefits of domestic solar power today is that the solar price per watt (PPV) installed has come down from almost $9.00 per watt installed in 2008, to the current average cost ranging from $2.80 to $3.50 per watt installed, before the 26% federal solar investment tax credits (ITC) that apply to the full amount paid for a new solar system.

Did you know? Homeowners going solar today are paying almost 66% less than they used to pay for solar energy just a little over a decade ago! That’s a very significant reduction in the upfront cost of investment, especially if you take into account the rate of inflation since 2008.

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Going Off-Grid with a Solar Panel System: What You Need to Know

There are many ways to use solar panels, and the best option will depend on your energy consumption habits and electricity tariffs. You can have a grid-tied installation that only reduces your power bills when the sun is shining, or you can install a solar battery system that can be used after sunset. It’s also possible to design an off-grid solar power system that is fully independent from external energy sources besides the sun.

via Paradise Solar Energy

However, keep in mind that the design and installation process changes depending on the type of solar system you’re looking for. To make sure you get the best possible results, your requirements and expectations should be explained clearly to solar installers before asking for quotes.

As you might expect, the price of solar power systems changes depending on their complexity and features. A basic grid-tied system with a 10-kilowatt capacity is much more affordable than a 10-kilowatt system with a home battery and smart energy monitoring, even when the solar panel capacity is equal in both cases.

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