Can green homes actually become affordable?
“To stand out in a still sluggish housing market, more builders are beginning to offer average-priced, ultra-efficient homes.”
Writes Wendy Koch a reporter and editor from USA Today.
Green One Construction Services, based in Beaverton, Oregon, is currently working on a zero-net-energy development of eighteen homes designed to produce at least as much power as they spend.
The triple bedroom, Sage Green homes come with excellent insulation, solar panels and triple-glazed windows. Prices start at $257,900.
In the southeast Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Arizona, Meritage Homes unveiled the new Lyon’s Gate developments, which aim to be 80% more efficient than regular, code-compliant homes.
So what comes for the base price of $174,900? Try nine-inch thick exterior walls, a thermostat which can be remotely programmed using an iPhone and an ECHO solar electric/thermal system which may produce up to 10 kilowatts of power annually. Well, that is roughly half the amount consumed by a regular house.
Meritage’s vice president for environmental affairs, C.R. Herro told the publication, The Arizona Republic:
“If customers respond to this, this will become the way we build houses…If we built these with $50,000 worth of (green) features and charged $50,000 more, we wouldn’t sell one…I’m building these for people who couldn’t care less about energy efficiency.”
Energy bills will run at an estimated $734 annually for the 1,640 square-feet model and $1,218 per year for the largest, 3,062 square-feet one.