It’s no secret most people love to save money when they can. Some people might do that in the form of couponing while others may earn their savings on smart car insurance. But an often overlooked way to save money is right within your own home.
People who have an eco-friendly home save a lot of money on their utility bills. There are consistent savings you will see each and every month when switching to an eco-friendly home.
The extra money in your pocket doesn’t stop there, though. If your home meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements, you can save money on your insurance costs as well. There are many insurance companies that will offer a discount on their rates if your home is LEED certified.
Eco-Friendly Utility Savings
There are many ways you can save money on your utility bill when you have an eco-friendly home. Here are some common ways to keep extra money in your pocket.
Install Solar Panels
Most of our minds probably immediately jump to solar panels when thinking of eco-friendly home renovations, and there’s a reason they are so popular. By installing solar panels, you can cut your electrical use within your home by up to 50 percent.
Though they may be a bit pricey upfront, the savings you will see from adding solar panels to your home will be lifelong. Throughout the lifetime of solar panels, the average home will save anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000.
Use a Solar Hot Water Heater
This eco-friendly upgrade is easier and cheaper to install than solar panels but still offers plenty of savings. Your hot water heater will be powered by solar energy, saving you 50 to 80 percent on the cost of heating the water in your home.
Not only does this upgrade save you on utility costs, it will also add resale value to your home if you should ever choose to sell.
Add Rainwater as a Water Source
Water can be a money-sucking utility bill since there are so many things inside and outside your home which use water. Adding rain water barrels or a cistern around your home and adding it as a water source is an extremely eco-friendly way to cut your energy costs.
You can use rainwater for many things around your home such as your washing machine, toilets, hoses, and showers. But not for drinking.
Depending on how you choose to use rainwater, the initial installation costs may be somewhat pricey, but the money savings on your water bill will quickly add up and cover your investment and more.
Install an Eco-Friendly Roof
When the time comes to replace your roof, consider choosing an eco-friendly option rather than the traditional roof shingles. There are many options available that are environmentally friendly and can also save you money on your energy costs.
Many eco-friendly roofing options such as clay tiles, metal roofing, and synthetic shake shingles are excellent for stopping your home from trapping too much heat, which can allow you to lower your electric bills when cooling your home.
It is also possible to find these materials from a recycled source, giving you two eco-friendly bonuses with just one upgrade!
Install Energy Star Appliances
There are many appliances within your home that can be switched out for more energy efficient versions. Though the upfront price of this update may seem hefty, this investment will pay for itself many times over.
Almost any appliance you currently own has an Energy Star alternative. Look through your budget and find where you can begin making the switch. You’ll save money in the long run and help the environment at the same time.
Other Eco-Friendly Updates To Save Money
Beyond just upgrading and saving on your utilities, there are many other updates you can do to your home to make it more eco-friendly.
Choose Reclaimed Wood
If you are looking to remodel or build, and you love the look of wood, you may want to consider using reclaimed wood instead of buying new. If you do a little digging, you will be able to find reclaimed wood at a very affordable price. There are multiple websites that offer ideas on where you can find cheap reclaimed wood near you.
On top of that, you are also doing the environment a huge favor by saving the trees. When you use reclaimed wood, you can look at your build knowing you stopped trees from being cut down without sacrificing the beautiful look you wanted.
Add Soy Foam Insulation
Typical insulation can be extremely toxic. Choosing an eco-friendly option such as soy foam is a much better alternative to the environment. It is installed in a similar style to traditional insulation, by spraying and then expanding within the wall.
Soy foam also works just as well as traditional insulation, if not better, so you are not losing any money on your energy savings.
Get a Gas Fireplace
Though many people enjoy the smell of a wood burning fireplace, these options can tend to cause more indoor and outdoor pollution. A greener option would be a gas fireplace in your home.
With a gas fireplace, you are able to enjoy all the warmth of a fire, without the worry of needing trees to be cut for burning firewood.
Decorate with Antiques
Though it can be tempting to run out and purchase a ton of brand new decorations for your home, consider the more environmentally friendly way to decorate.
Antiquing allows you to take something beautiful and give it a whole new life within your home. This stops landfills from receiving decor that is no longer wanted, and you often find things for a cheaper price going to thrift stores or antique stores than you would buying new.
You can also get creative when decorating with previously used items. For example, if you find a bookshelf you love but can’t stand the color, you can always buy it and upcycle it to be exactly what you want with some quick sanding and a couple coats of paint.
You will have a unique and beautiful piece for your home, all while being more environmentally friendly.
Insurance Savings are an Added Bonus
There are many insurance providers who are willing to provide extra incentives and discounts if you choose to renovate your home with more eco-friendly options. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between eco-friendly homes and a lower risk rate for the owners.
If you are unsure about what savings you may receive from making the switch, you can always contact your agent or explore other insurance options to see where your biggest savings may be.
Going Green: Worth the Investment
Choosing to install eco-friendly renovations or building yourself an eco-friendly home can save you more money than you might think in the long run. Though your initial costs may be higher than a traditional home, the money you will save on utility bills and insurance costs will pay for the investment in no time.
You may choose any or all of these suggestions, or you could even get creative and find some of your own. No matter what you decide, you should feel good about not only saving money but also helping to preserve the environment as well.
About the co-author:
Alexandra Arcand writes for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance101.com, and has a passion for upcycling and helping our environment.