Energy consumption among residential households in the U.S. has been steadily rising for years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, more than $229 billion was spent in 2009 to run America’s houses. Between keeping their homes cool in the summer, keeping them warm in the winter, washing clothes, and taking showers, the average family spends over $2,000 a year running their electrical appliances. Even households with an annual income of less than $20,000 spent more than $1500 on energy costs.
Striving for Efficiency
It’s easy to see why any household that wants to put some money back in the bank needs to strive for energy efficiency. Because green living has become a buzzword in recent years, there are no shortage of options for homeowners who want to cut down on their consumption. Adding insulation to your home’s walls and attic, upgrading and replacing outdated windows, planting trees around the yard for increased shade, and even making judicious use of curtains and blinds can make a big difference. But while making these improvements can increase your energy efficiency, it can be difficult to come up with the money to make significant changes.
Making your Home energy efficient
Energy consumption is not only important for the environment but also equally important to our senior citizens that are stretched on limited income during their retirement years. According to ReverseMortgageReviews.org, seniors are accessing home-equity through a reverse mortgage loan to raise cash for solar and energy-efficient upgrades. By doing so you have added value to your home and decreased your monthly outgoing expenses, a perfect scenario for our ageing population.
The Energy Efficient Mortgage
If you’re in the market for a new home, it makes sense to find a house with as much energy efficiency as possible. This means looking for houses that are Energy Star certified upon inspection. If you do choose to do this, you can take advantage of an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM), which will credit the home’s efficiency within the terms of the loan itself. As a borrower, this gives you the chance to finance any cost effective, energy-saving measure in the home as part of the mortgage.
EEM loans aren’t just for those in search of an Energy Star certified home. Energy Improvement Mortgages can be used to buy homes that you intend to improve after purchase. By including the cost of these improvements in the mortgage, you can consolidate the expense without increasing your down payment. Many borrowers take advantage of EIM loans to use the money they’ve saved from their lower utility bills and apply it directly to financing the energy improvements.
Beyond providing a method of purchasing an energy efficient home or improving an existing one, EEM loans offer several benefits to home buyers. By and large, home buyers who opt for an Energy Efficient Mortgage will be able to qualify for larger mortgage loans than they otherwise would have. This is because the loan will fold in the cost of further improvements or the expenditures spent in making the home energy efficient to begin with. Also, because interest payments on a mortgage are tax-deductible, it is one of the most cost effective ways to add energy consumption improvements to a home. Certainly, it saves money when compared to high interest options like credit cards and financing. Finally, banks offering Energy Star EEM loans are requires to either pay a portion of the closing costs or offer a discount to prospective buyers.