Why Being Green Matters to Customers (and Should Matter to You)
Residential electricity prices have increased by more than 42 percent since 2002, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. High electricity costs mean energy efficiency is more important than ever to homeowners, as well as remodelers who think green can significantly help their customers save on utility bills for years to come.
Many homes are improperly prepared for the elements, as drafty windows, leaking roofs and uninsulated spaces allow warm air to escape. Now that these inefficiencies are starting to hit them in their pocketbooks, homeowners are standing up to take notice. As the economy continues to lag, consumers who wouldn’t typically give their energy bills a second thought are seeking new ways to save, especially in climates where temperatures change drastically throughout the year.
Sustainability at home may seem pie in the sky for people living in older homes that were built before the concept of green was commonplace. At Power, we believe all homeowners have the chance to embrace energy efficiency no matter their address, and we’ve identified some easy ways to help customers make their homes more sustainable:
Windows: As exterior home improvement experts, we think windows are naturally the first place to look if you’re looking to cut energy costs. New, energy efficient windows are ideal for insulating a home from extreme temperatures. Have customers test the energy efficiency of their older windows by lighting a candle and placing it next to one. If the window has an air leak, the flame will flicker and your customer will be able to see the need for window replacement. The visual of the flickering flame is a striking symbol of the money that’s flying out their window each month with hefty utility bills.
Doors: The efficiency of entry and patio doors is just as important as windows, if not more so. Old or improperly sealed doors can significantly affect a home’s energy efficiency, as their surface area is larger than that of a window. The flickering flame test is a great way to detect air leaks in a door as well, but place the lighted candle at the base of the door where air may be escaping through the jam.
Insulation: According to the Department of Energy, more than 50 percent of the energy used in a typical American home is used for heating and cooling air. Aside from windows and doors, insulation is the next big culprit for energy loss in the home. Energy usage for heating and cooling is high because conditioned air often escapes through poorly insulated walls and attics creating a never-ending cycle of circulating air.
DOE suggests that homeowners who are knowledgeable in home weatherization and energy efficiency methods can save up to 20 percent on utility bills. As a result, the department has made home weatherization a top priority. Offering customers a home assessment can help them identify key areas in their home that need to be addressed. By searching for air leaks and checking insulation, lighting and heating/cooling equipment, you can help your customers discover problem areas and help them prioritize home improvement projects that will pay dividends for years to come.