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Tortorice’s Tips

Spend Now for Future Savings

By Bob Tortorice

With the cold winter, it’s a good time to review and share the value of an energy audit and energy improvements and learn why it’s important to make home improvements now in anticipation of future hot summers and cold winters.

Save Money on Your Energy Bills

The qualified home energy professional is trained to pinpoint the areas of your home where energy is being wasted and used inefficiently. The resulting energy audit will prioritize cost-effective improvement opportunities that will pay financial dividends every season. The colder or hotter it gets outside will only increase your savings.

Increase Your Comfort

You will feel the difference with the right home improvements. No more drafts, cold or hot spots. Air sealing the building shell, sealing leaky air ducts, adding insulation, or replacing that old furnace or air conditioner will make your home a more pleasant place to be. Remember how hot your second floor bedrooms get in the summer! Who knows how hot this summer will be?

Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

For every $1 decrease in annual energy costs, the market value of a home increases by $20, according to a study published in the Appraisal Journal. If you decrease your energy costs by $300 per year, the value of your home increases by $6,000. After the work is completed, the qualified professional will verify measurable results of the improvements performed.

Measures to lower utility bills are valuable home improvements that reap dividends month after month. Your home is more likely to make a faster sale for a higher price when you’re ready to sell.

Uncover Hidden Problems

A home energy audit involves a thorough inspection of your home, which can uncover hidden structural and safety problems before they cause major damage. For example, improper ventilation can cause mold or mildew growth, which you may not discover until it becomes severe and costly repairs are required.

Help the Environment

By using less energy, you reduce the amount of pollution and greenhouse gasses that are created in the production of electricity and the fuels we burn. You can feel good about the energy (and money) you’re saving because you’re doing your part for the environment.

Take Advantage of Government and or Utility Company Incentives

While you don’t necessarily need a home energy audit in order to take advantage of government tax incentives and rebates, an energy auditor will show you which cost-effective improvements make the most sense for your home. With the recommendations from your energy audit report and tax incentive information, you can make the right decisions as to which measures will pay the biggest return on your investment — and have the government and possibly your utility company help you do it.

Invest in a Sure Moneymaker

Investing in your home’s energy efficiency takes money. Fortunately, your return on investment is around 16% per year, taking into account the money you spent on the improvements. As energy prices rise, so will your return on investment. Energy improvements have reduced home energy bills from 25% to over 50% depending on the home and scope of work.

Bob Tortorice has over 30 years of green building experience. He is the owner of Building Alternatives, Inc. and Alternative Energy Audits in Franconia. Call 823-5100 or visit www.buildingalternatives.com or www.epsbuildings.com to learn more about “Building Life Long Savings.”

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