Home Improvement

Before you design a new home or remodel an existing one, you should consider investing in its energy efficiency - you'll save energy and money in the long run. It's also a good time to invest in a renewable energy system that will provide your home with electricity, water heating, or space heating and cooling. If you're remodeling a home, conduct an energy audit to help you determine what energy efficiency improvements should and can be made to your home.

Also consider where you get your building materials and look into using recycled materials. The construction of an average single-family home in the U.S. (at 2,350 ft) is estimated to generate between 7,000 and 12,000 pounds of construction waste. Given the two million or so new homes built each year in the U.S., that can really add up.

2013 offered the U.S. solar market the first real glimpse of its path toward mainstream status. The combination of rapid customer adoption, grassroots support for solar, improved financing terms, and public market successes displayed clear gains for solar in the eyes of both the general population and the investment community.
Financing for your home energy efficiency projects does not have to be provided by you alone. Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) are available through both government-insured and conventional loan programs.
States, local governments and utilities offer rebates to promote the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures.
USGBC coordinates the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.
Also called living roofs or vegetated roofs, green roofs are specially engineered with a waterproof membrane topped by a lightweight planting medium.
Roofs play a key role in protecting building occupants and interiors from outside weather conditions.
A well-oriented home admits low-angle winter sun to reduce heating bills and rejects overhead summer sun to reduce cooling bills.
Replacing windows can save you money in reduced energy bills and many utilities provide rebates for such purchases.
Use of materials like engineered wood products is encouraged because they efficiently make use of waste wood pieces, reducing environmental impacts of the wood industry.
If you hire a deconstruction outfit, ask if they’re a charitable organization — if so, you may be eligible for a sizable tax deduction for the value of the salvaged goods.