HomeBussinessBuying an energy-efficient home: a wise financial decision

Buying an energy-efficient home: a wise financial decision

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Energy efficiency involves using less energy and using energy responsibly. It can impact every aspect of our lives, including what we buy and where we live. When it comes to homes, it is important to know how your home operates and uses energy, while becoming more mindful of energy sources.

Choosing to buy a new energy-efficient home is a great start to living more comfortably and saving on energy bills. By making energy efficiency choices, you’re also helping to protect the environment.

The accumulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere are causing a “greenhouse effect” on the earth’s climate. This is evident in increasing average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising average sea levels. What many of us don’t realize is that our homes are a contributor to GHG emissions.

This makes your home a great place to start reducing your energy footprint. Since most of the energy we consume comes from fossil fuels, the energy we can save on heating and cooling our homes will help decrease our impact on the environment.

We all need a place to stay. In addition to using our appliances and turning on the lights, we must cool and heat our homes during summer and winter respectively. The homeowner will pay a price for all of this in terms of comfort and money. Lowering the energy needed to operate your house and gaining access to amenities that enhance your comfort by living in an energy-efficient home may help you lower these expenditures. It’s encouraging to know that an energy-efficient home is more comfortable to live in given how much of our time is spent indoors.

Having an energy-efficient home also implies comfort and savings for potential buyers when you’re ready to sell, which could give you an advantage over the competition. It can also be helpful to know what energy efficiency features to look for if you’re preparing to purchase a home.

What to look for if you are a buyer?

Utility Information

  • Average monthly bill
  • Heating and Cooling Systems
  • Age, condition, and efficiency of the system
  • Type of equipment and fuel

Water heating

  • Type of equipment, insulation, and fuel
  • Age, condition, and efficiency of the system

Thermostat controls

  • Does the house has a thermostat control?
  • Is the thermostat programmable or Smart?

Appliances

  • Age and operating condition
  • Are the appliances ENERGY STAR rated?

Fenestration

  • Do apertures have single, double, or triple panes?
  • Is the fenestration ENERGY STAR rated?

Air infiltration/Draftiness

  • Look for holes or gaps around windows and doors that might cause air infiltration and drafts

Insulation

  • Ask about the insulation levels in the outside walls, ceiling, floor, etc.
  • Type of insulation and air sealing: the more insulation, the better.

Third Party Verifications/Certifications

  •  Look for energy ratings, labels, and certifications

While home buyers are increasingly looking for energy-efficient homes, it is prime time that all actors in the building and construction industry to grab the renovation opportunity to build a well-functioning energy-saving renovation market, offer attractive solutions and use their respective ingenuity to make highly efficient buildings a common standard of the local building stock.

For more information visit: www.bca.org.mt

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