GETTING YOUR ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOUSE CERTIFIED

Lower utility bills, consistent comfort, and better air quality.

There are many benefits to making your home energy efficient. Beyond incorporating these features into your house, there are also advantages to certifying the energy efficiency of your house.

If you’re looking to add third-party credibility to your home’s green features, there are many reputable businesses and organizations that provide certifications. You’ve probably seen the Energy Star on appliances at the hardware store. Or maybe this familiar star label is already pasted to appliances and fixtures in your current home. Energy Star also provides a certification that your entire home is built to stringent green standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additional reputable certifications can come from LEED for Homes or the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index from the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

Before digging into these certification offerings, let’s explore the benefits of getting your house certified.

Proof of Quality

Houses that are certified as energy-efficient undergo more testing than other homes simply built to meet local building requirements. While you can judge the quality of your home by the walls and fixtures you can see, certification can provide positive evidence of quality in the home features less visible. The extensive testing behind energy-efficient certification gives proof that your home—from the foundation to the roof—is made from superior-quality materials.

Increase the Value of your Home

If you view your home as an investment for selling in the future, then certifying your energy-efficient home is a must.

Having an energy-efficient home will speak volumes to savvy buyers seeking a house with a proven track record of energy cost savings. Money saved in the long run on utility bills can justify a higher asking price than similar-sized homes in your area that are produced with more traditional materials. And, of course, buyers find purchasing a home that is kinder to the environment to be emotionally rewarding. Official documentation of your home’s energy efficient features adds credibility to your “green home” label.

Additionally, this documentation can be used to help potential buyers get better home loans through Energy Efficient Mortgages, or EEMs. These special mortgages allow the buyer to borrow more money by increasing their income by the amount of estimated energy savings they will receive during the loan period for their green-certified home.

The Big Picture

If you’re looking to ensure that your house has the quality and benefits promised in the “green home” label, and to secure the value of investment in your home for the future, then pursuing energy-efficient certification should be on your to-do list.