Is It Really Cheaper to Live In A Green House?

Yes, and in more ways that one.

Energy conservation is one of the main goals of sustainable building, and following the basics of green design certainly lowers the cost of heating and cooling. All of it makes a difference, so site the house to take advantage of the sun, create a tight building envelopeExterior components of a house that provide protection from colder (and warmer) outdoor temperatures and precipitation; includes the house foundation, framed exterior walls, roof or ceiling, and insulation, and air sealing materials., invest in adequate insulation and choose energy efficient heating and cooling equipment.

The energy advantages of green design are becoming more obvious as the cost of fossil fuels increases. When energy was cheap, a little extra heating oil or natural gas wasn’t a big deal. But energy isn’t cheap anymore and fossil fuels are only going to get more expensive. Cutting consumption by building more-efficient houses is money in the bank.

Taken to its limits, energy conservation strategies result in a “zero-energy” house, which produces as much energy over the course of a year as it uses. This isn’t easy to accomplish and requires the installation of photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. panels to generate power. But near-zero-energy houses can get most of the way there without as much reliance on these expensive devices. At the moment, zero-energy buildings are rare but they are likely to become much more common.

Green houses also are designed to save money with lower maintenance costs. Choosing durable building products means they will have to be repaired or replaced less frequently. Durable building products don’t necessarily cost more. They just work better.

Dec 31, 2009 10:28 AM ET

Good brief, too brief
by Steve Stelzer

I agree, but I sense this is unfulfilling for the audience that may be hungry for some more concrete examples.

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