I recently asked the question of Realtors®: In your area is there interest in Energy Efficient Homes, also know as Green Homes?
There were several responses to the question that were very similar and were in fact in line with the most common myth regarding Green Homes.
Myth number 1 is: Building Green Costs More.
I believe this thinking is a carry over from several years ago.
Green technology was expensive and would certainly cause a person to hesitate to spend large amounts of money with a long wait to recoup the benefits of the savings.
In 1972 a Photovoltaic panel (solar panel) that would produce 1 watt of power cost $74. But the decline in costs over the decades has been astonishing. In mid 2014, a solar panel that produces 1 watt of power cost $.74. That means the technology is 99% cheaper now.
I have written about Babcock Ranch, a new Solar Powered town in Southwest Florida. They have joined with Florida Power and Light to build an Energy Center=Solar Farm. This Energy Center produces 74.5 mega watts of energy, enough to power 19,000 homes plus 6 million square feet of commercial space.
There are enough solar panels in the Energy Center, if placed end to end would stretch from just North of Ft Myers, Florida to Chicago.
In 1972, with a cost of $74 per watt, it would have been prohibitive to build. But at $.74 it is a reasonable solution to decreasing energy costs for residential and commercial use.
Another way to look at the cost vs benefit is seen in this example:
People can install an attic fan to draw out the hot air that collects there and is responsible for adding heat to the home.
You can buy an energy efficient solar attic vent for the home and it will cost you about ten times that of a static plastic vent. The solar attic vent cools down the attic by something close to 10-15% during the summer. This means a reduction in your air conditioning bill that is significant.
There are 2 benefits from this solar fan.
1. Over time it will save you money on your electric bill.
2. It will reduce the work load on the A/C unit and thus adds to the useful life of that unit.
There is also another benefit: it will decrease the need for fuel to create the electricity. This means less air pollution.
FPL is installing 5,000 solar panels that will help power Daytona International Speedway. This will cut an estimated 2200 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
To say that Energy Efficiency is too expensive is to not see the current costs and all the additional benefits gained.
John Wiley holds the GREEN designation from the National Association of Realtors®. He is also certified to teach the Green course.
For more information on Green Homes go to: John Wiley Blog-Green Homes
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