How a green mortgage could help you and the environment
A green mortgage, or to give it its correct name, an energy-efficient mortgage, is a program that has been designed to enable people to make their homes more energy-efficient. They are not second mortgages so you don’t have to make a separate payment each month, and they can be used for upgrades such as tank less water heaters, double paned windows, insulation and modern HVAC systems.
You could be forgiven for thinking that any savings that you make through having a more energy-efficient home are going to be swallowed up by having borrowed more money, but fortunately this is not the case. You will save far more in reduced energy bills than the extra that you have to pay back each month.
When you consider the facts behind the energy that a typical American home uses, it is not difficult to see how having upgrades will help reduce this carbon footprint and the bills, and having a green mortgage means that there is now a cost effective way of paying for the necessary upgrades.
Heating and cooling uses between 50 and 70 per cent of all the energy that is consumed in the average home in the US, and according to the Department of Energy, nearly 25 per cent of that energy is lost through poorly insulated windows.
You may think that you are safe because you have modern double paned windows, but another alarming fact shows that of the houses that have central heating and air, around 20 per cent of the air is lost because of faulty or outdated duct work, while 60 per cent of properties in the US are not properly insulated, thus losing even more energy.
Upgrading the insulation in your home can reduce your annual energy bill by as much as 20 per cent. The most basic of double paned windows can save up to 18 per cent in hot climates in the summer and up to 24 per cent in cold climates during the winter.
Having a thermostat that you can program will save about 20 per cent on your heating bills and in excess of three per cent on those for cooling. It’s worth looking at appliances, too. For example, if you were to get a new Energy Star-Rated dishwasher, not only would you save a substantial amount of energy (and when you consider that a dishwasher is accountable for two per cent of an energy bill, this is worth thinking about) and a staggering 1,200 gallons of water every year.
This may all seem like number crunching, but the harsh reality is that as long as your home is not energy-efficient you are essentially throwing your hard-earned bucks away, as well as damaging the environment, because, let’s not forget that the more we use, the more the Earth loses.
Getting a green mortgage for either the home that you live in, or for one that you plan on buying means that you will save a significant amount of money, your home will be more comfortable, and your carbon footprint will be greatly reduced, which means that the environment will benefit too.