Green Renos Are Increasing by Leaps and Bounds

Not all home renovations are made in order to improve a home’s aesthetics or comfort. A June 2017 article in Real Estate Magazine took a look at a growing trend – additions and improvements for the purpose of improving a home’s efficiency and environmental friendliness – and its value.

Michael Garrity, CEO of finance company Financeit, told REM that in the past four years his company has seen a 200 per cent increase in the number of loans intended for “green” usage; and from 2013 to 2016, the company’s financing for residential solar projects alone increased by 232 per cent.

One homeowners’ survey conducted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) indicated that energy efficiency was the third most desired factor in a new home purchase, behind cost and location. The reason: a desire on the part of homeowners to reduce utility costs.

As well, the past 30 years have brought continuous improvement in energy-saving technology, including heating and cooling and solar energy advances. Homes now use about half as much energy as they did in the 1980s, another CHBA survey found.

So what does this mean for homeowners and buyers? While upfront costs may be steep, they’re worth it. (Garrity suggests new state-of-the-art windows may cost between $5,000 and $15,000 while solar panel installation may be as high as $25,000, depending on the size of the project.)

Homeowners will benefit from reduced energy costs while they live in the home and see its value increased when they go to sell, because, increasingly, home buyers are willing to pay the price.