A Greener Big Apple Is Becoming More Eco-Friendly
Older buildings have so much charm and history, but they often are lacking in energy efficiency and other green home design features. Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, is taking steps to fix that.
Let's face it, most business owners are more concerned with their profit margin than climate change, so green improvements are more likely to happen when there is money to be saved. That's de Blasio's approach, and it's working.
The iconic Empire State Building is a perfect example. A major green renovation took place in 2011 that saw more than 6,000 windows replaced among other energy improvements. The building is now reporting savings of several millions dollars in energy costs each year.
And that's just one building. De Blasio's plan is currently targeting 14,500 heavily-polluting buildings. This is definitely a significant step in the right direction towards a greener, more eco-friendly New York City,
Major funding initiatives like the Energy Savings Performance Contracts, from the Department of Energy, is making it very financially safe for commercial building owners to take these green steps with little risk or immediate cost.
Model for Homeowners
While this specific initiative is targeting large commercial buildings in the city, part of the intention is to highlight the savings and benefits that come from making green changes to residential buildings too.
Green home designs can include a range of eco-features, but the one area that stands out in terms of financial savings is energy efficiency. Adding new insulation, replacing windows and upgrading HVAC systems all equal less energy being used, and therefore plenty of savings down the road. It also means a lot less pollution and lower green house gas emissions as well. It's a win-win situation for both your budget and the environment.
And not only are there savings in operating costs, you'll find that the resale value of a green home is higher than one without the upgrades.
Green home experts suggest that you do focus on the house itself for the best return on your investment, rather than get caught up in the latest high-efficiency appliances.
Unfortunately, long-term savings doesn't necessarily help the average person manage the up-front costs of a potentially costly green home renovation project. The government is coming up with new incentives to create more appealing financial programs to get people to go green. Rebates from utilities and green renovation loans are two common examples.