Reducing Home Energy Consumption
Whether your project is to build a new home or remodel your exiting home, we are all well advised to make energy use efficiency part of our projects. Because of its obvious importance, Gilmore Building Co., Inc. has made energy use efficiency a key component in our new-old home pallet of innovative technologies.
The reasons to make energy use efficiency part of our home projects are becoming increasingly clear to everyone. The most obvious reasons are: cost to the homeowner to purchase energy, the negative impact on the environment from burning fossil fuels, and the security risk to our nation posed by dependence on foreign oil sources. Along with gasoline price increases, the world has recently experienced the pain of the drastic increases in the cost of natural gas and heating oil. The cost of heating oil approached $5.00 per gallon in 2008. Although the slow overall economy has forced the price to retreat, it is clear that when the economy picks up again the cost of heating oil, natural gas and electricity will rise rapidly. More importantly, the environment is damaged by burning fossil fuels and, in turn, that harms the health of every life form on the plant. For example, lung disease and asthma continue to rise because of the increase of small particulates released into the air from burning fossil fuels. Also, warming of the plant, at the very least, causes extremes in weather such as the increased frequency of Category 5 hurricanes like the one that devastated New Orleans.
Improving energy use efficiency should be considered with respect to all new home construction and remodeling done to change existing living space. With respect to existing homes, it is also prudent to renovate the home solely for the purpose of reducing energy use.
Certainly new home construction provides the easier pathway to achieve the highest practical level of energy use efficiency. However, projects that remodel existing living space or add more living space to an existing home also offer the opportunity to achieve significant gains in energy use efficiency. Readily available methods that include insulation type, window construction, window placement, controlled ventilation, high efficiency heating equipment, etc. are readily installed as the construction proceeds.
With recent changes to income tax laws, we now all have a choice between paying taxes or using the money to lower the amount of energy our homes use, thereby, lowering the money we pay out annually for energy. Federal and State governments have provided incentives to help us pay for the improvements and begin lowering our annual cost of energy. Some incentives are in the form of income tax credits. These credits actually reduce the amount of tax you owe, because the money paid for energy use efficiency systems can be subtracted, in whole or in part, directly from your income tax bill. Remember, the energy cost savings achieved continue year after year.
Even if you are not remodeling your home's living space, owners of homes built many years ago or even in the last few years are advised to take advantage of the energy use efficiency opportunities. It is not necessary to wait until you have a remodeling project before acting to lower your home's energy demand and your annual energy cost. A renovation project can be dedicated solely to lowering your home's energy demand and to taking advantage of the tax savings incentives.
Gilmore Building Co., Inc. can work with you to identify the opportunities and then build the changes into your home, thus, allowing you to take advantage of the yearly cost savings. We use our design build approach to complete these projects for you.
We conduct an in depth review of your home focusing on the building's construction and its systems, such as, insulation and heating equipment to determine where energy use improvements can be made. For example, we would investigate the foundation, windows, and roof for air infiltration and insulation effectiveness. Additionally, your home's heating and cooling systems would be checked for level of efficiency, and the home's overall energy use would be measured. The analysis even assesses the quality of the air you breath to ensure that proper ventilation is being provided.
Once the opportunities are identified, the fixes are specified, and you agree, the changes are built into your home. The fixes can include technologies like solar hot water and electricity generation, geothermal heating or cooling, instantaneous hot water heaters, or dual fuel heaters. The full range of systems that are available to lower your home's energy consumption would be considered and a customized solution identified.
Contact Gilmore Building Company to see how our energy use reduction program can help you.