Energy retrofits are getting increasingly popular in recent years. While builders struggle to build new houses and put them into use, the rest of the houses are getting old. According to the ABC Collaborative, (launched by the U.S. Department of Energy to help the States remain competitive in prefabricated and modular approaches for building retrofits and new construction,) more than 21 million single-family homes in the United States need retrofits. This means the occurrence of a huge new industry - energy improvement.
Energy retrofits are growing in the country for these reasons: to improve home equity, save energy costs, the social consciousness is increasing, product and design renovation, and meet the sustainability goals in the United States.
Improve Home Equity
Olivia Mariani, the chief marketing officer at Curbio (a company that focuses on home renovations to sell), quoted the data from the Zillow housing trends report and said that 60% of buyers wanted to have energy efficiency, and they would like to pay up to $15,000 more for a solar-powered home.
Mariani works on helping homeowners to sell their homes faster by capitalizing on energy upgrades. This is because, nowadays, environmentally conscious and millennial home buyers are willing to pay more for these upgrades. Her company Curbio has completed 2,000 such projects across the country. On project renovation that requires a little contractor works, they observed a 214% average ROI. Therefore, they share this with their realtor customers, helping them to see what they can benefit from such renovation.
Image by RachelW1a from Pixabay
Save Energy Costs & Increasing Social Consciousness
A recent survey conducted by Thumbtack, an online home care platform, said that 55% of the interviewed 1,000 homeowners said that lowering energy bills was the most important reason that drove them to engage in energy retrofits.
Phil Consalvo, the principal at architecture firm PJCArchitecture, found that residential clients who take the work very personally are motivated by the pandemic and get more educated about their environment. His colleague, Juliana Sorzano, added that studies showed that before the pandemic, people spent 90% of their time between their homes and offices, and now when they started working from home, it became 90% at home. That’s why these people are more conscious about energy retrofits and want to make sure their indoor quality (at home) is healthy.
“They are starting to associate gas ranges to allergies and sickness. A client recently was in planning and changed a gas range in the middle of the job to induction.” Juliana added.
Product and Design Innovation
The products and technologies for energy retrofits are advancing at an exponential pace. Some of the main enhancements include more efficient compressors, refrigerants that are 35% more efficient than they were 13 years ago, and the introduction of computer controls that enable performance at very cold temperatures.
According to Eric Werling from the US Department of Energy, they have been able to build net zero for more than 30 years. This implies that they now have three decades of developing science progress to make it a reality, and they have poised for fast transformation thanks to federal incentives.
DR Richardson is the founder of Elephant Energy, a consulting and project management firm. He believed that contractors must understand the costs and future savings to make the right presentation to a homeowner. If homeowners could pay for all energy efficiency upgrades at once, the average total cost after incentives and rebates would be $23,000. However, it could pay for itself in less than a decade by delivering average annual energy savings of $2,500, as well as the benefit of lowering the home's carbon footprint.
What Opportunities to Grasp
Homeowners who are going to sell their homes can consider an energy retrofit to build home equity before selling. Those who are still living in the “old houses” may also capitalize on a renovation to save energy bills in the long run. On the other hand, it may not be a bad idea for product suppliers or design service providers to engage in energy generation products and design innovation to attract more and more energy-conscious homeowners.
Reference: Jennifer Castenson from Forbes
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