Future Friendly Houses Are Worth More, Today and Tomorrow

Chris Chopik - From EvolutionGreen.Com, 2007

I often ask clients if they would purchase a home with a non-performing roof. Invariably the answer is no. Why, in a climate like ours, are buyers not looking closely at the home energy efficiency? In Toronto we have intense Heating needs in winter and significant Cooling needs in the summer. There is a consumer shift happening, and home owners who miss opportunities for energy efficiency may find their resale values affected.

Future friendliness is measurable, and it comes down to energy. Reducing the energy costs associated with operating a home begins with tightening the thermal envelope, disposing of incandescent and halogen light bulbs, and investing in EnergyStar appliances.

Future friendly houses demand a higher resale value. Ensure that your Realtor is comfortable selling your energy efficient home for a higher market price. The easiest way to accomplish this is to capitalise the operational savings associated with energy retrofits to a higher sale price. EnerGuide ratings are a good tool, but before and after operation costs are also very useful.

Water consumption is also a contribution to the efficiency of your home. Lowering water consumption reduces the cost of municipal services. Low flow shower heads, water conserving toilets, water-efficient dish and clothing washers. The City of Toronto spends an estimated 18% of its total operating budget on sewage treatment and drinking water quality and distribution. The city has rebate programs for toilets and rain barrels which will reduce your costs in making the transition – take advantage of these programs.

Bottom Line – Future Friendly houses are worth more than energy hogs. If you are renovating make sure you take advantage of retrofit opportunities. Take pictures so you can show your potential purchasers the insulation in the walls, windows and doors. Ensure your Realtor understands the value of these improvements and can convey this value to a potential buyer.