Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Make Your House Greener with the Aid of Green Home Loans

If you want to save some money by paying less on your utilities, making renovations on your home to reduce its energy use may just be what you need. Any home renovation can be costly but you can think of it as an investment where you realise the returns from paying less on some or nearly all of your bills and you get to save the environment as well by using less energy resources.

Green Home 2
Image: flickr.com/photos/skrobotic

The U.S. Federal Housing Administration has an Energy Efficient Mortgage Loan program that seeks to help homeowners pay less on their monthly utility bills by undertaking energy efficiency improvements on their homes. Homeowners can avail of the program as part of an FHA insured home purchase or through refinancing their current mortgage loan.

The eligible energy efficient activities under the FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage Loan program can cover as much as 5% of the property’s value but only up to $8,000 or $4,000.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has more information on the Energy Efficient Mortgage Program. Their page explains that homeowners can apply for an FHA insured energy efficient mortgage by contacting an FHA-approved lender and there are a lot of them all over the country. An energy consultant will determine the cost of the energy improvements and they will also be the ones who to estimate the amount of energy savings the homeowner will get from the improvement.

Typical home improvements that will help homeowners cut their utility bills and save the environment include the sealing of ducts of windows. The use of green energy sources like solar panels and the installation of more efficient HVAC systems are other ways to improve a home’s energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Your Homes That Will Save You Money

Green home loans like the Energy Efficient Mortgage Loan program by the FHA can put the green back into the homeowner’s pockets and also help save the environment. Any energy efficiency improvement project should start with an assessment of your home’s current energy efficiency. An energy consultant can help you determine your home’s energy efficiency and the good thing is that up to $200 of the energy inspection report can be covered by the FHA’s program.

One of the areas for improvement to create a more energy efficient home is the heating and cooling component of a home. The installation of a programmable thermostat alone can help save the homeowner around $180 a year in energy costs. The energy consultant can also recommend the sealing of heating and cooling ducts. Doing this can improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems by as much as 20%. Replacing old HVAC equipment with ENERGY STAR units can also help improve the efficiency of heating and cooling a home.

Insulating the home properly is another area that can provide you with a lot of savings for homeowners. The attic is the area in the home that has the most potential for energy saving when it is properly insulated. Insulating the basement and crawlspace and insulating doors and windows are also recommended.

Generating green energy through the use of renewable energy sources like solar panels and small wind turbines is another energy efficiency improvement that the energy consultant can recommend.

Energy Efficiency Projects With Your Housing Loan

FHA’s program allows homeowners to incorporate energy efficiency programs with their housing loan. The homeowners can save money on utility bills but policy makers also see the program as a way to spur job growth, especially in the HVAC industry and construction industry. Interested applicants for the program should check out the links to FHA’s program to see if they are eligible for the program.

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