Cost benefits of "going green"


"The Actual Costs of Owning a Home are the MONTHLY COSTS, NOT the Purchase Price
Actual Costs = Monthly Costs + Hidden Costs
It is a misconception that the more we reduce a building's environmental footprint, the more money we have to spend. While it is true that many "greener" options will require more hard earned dollars, the best options will actually save you money from the very first month.
Payback is one way of looking at an energy investment. For example: if one spends 30k dollars on a PV solar system, how many months or years will it take to make that money back in lower, monthly energy bills? There are some serious flaws to using a payback approach:
1. Most people finance, which changes the initial purchase price into monthly, mortgage payments.
2. Monthly, energy bills are always rising and increasingly unstable making future calculations only a guess.
3. Payback does not account for the millions of hidden costs associated with nuclear and fossil fuel use and dependency.
Purchase Price versus Monthly payments
People buying a home do not really pay the purchase price. Mortgage payments + energy/utility payments are the actual costs one pays to live in a home. The best investments add only a few dollars to your mortgage payment, but will bring your energy bills down by double or triple that amount, saving money from the first month of occupancy.
Forget the earth, invest in yourself.
The best investment in our climate is always an air-tight, continuously-insulated envelope. Secondly, heating/cooling systems since they represent the largest portion of monthly, energy costs. Money spent in these two areas can increase monthly-mortgage payments slightly, but will dramatically reduce monthly-energy bills.
Financing offers you the ability to own a home. It also offers an opportunity to save alot by spending a little.
The right building envelope and space conditioning investments outperform almost any other investments and dramatically reduces environmental impact (if you're into that kinda thing).
Mortgage + Monthly Energy Bills ¬tual Cost of Home
example:
Conventionally built green home
$750 + $100 = $850
Passive Solar, SIP built Green home
$756 + $42 $798
This home would have a higher purchase price and mortgage payment, but from the first month of occupancy it would be more affordable. It would also be more comfortable, better protected from rising energy costs, safe in a winter power outage, and would enjoy a probable, higher re-sale value with less days on the market. It would also be half of the environmental foot-print of the other "green" home."
http://www.springtimehomes.com/green_building_costs
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Ta, people have simply been brainwashed into this payback nonsense. When someone puts a weird ugly turret on a McMansion, what is the 'payback'? Why are features having to do with energy consumption subject to this analysis when others aren't? Why do people renovate kitchens and baths when the fact that they will never recoup their investment has been well established for decades?
As the article points out, a well built well insulated house will be more comfortable to live in and have a better resale value than one that isn't, and that's no matter what happens to the climate or oil prices or anything else. Duh.
-tg

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I agree with you that cost/benefit should not be the sole consideration for "building green". But even if you narrowly define "cost" in terms of constructions costs, it *still* works out in your favor, even in the short term (depending of course on how "green" you really go).

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I'm not so sure, from my research into building. I think you have to be careful (as with the health care business) not to allow the discussion to be framed by the opposition, and that's partially what's going on here. It is all a shell game, and you have to realize how vulnerable people are to that.
The choice isn't presented as having insulation or not having insulation; it is presented as a place with those ugly turrets v a place without them, for the same price. People will always pick the ugly turrets, because they think that will impress people. So the cost benefit for them is not the same as it is for us. Face it, with all the talk about efficient cars, the buzz is still all about cupholders and 'styling'.
This is a very tough problem, and I don't think it gets solved without Gummint Socialist building standards. That way there's a level playing field.
-tg

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So you're not buying the math provided by the builder above?

NC has implemented some "healthy built home" standards, which helps set the bar at least minimally low.
http://healthybuilthomes.org /

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It's that pesky quantitative thinking reflex ;-)
I would say that for an identical house, less than 1 percent difference in construction cost is suspicious----and then more than twice the energy use is even more suspicious.
I think what I say below applies---the houses aren't really the same, and there's a lot of hand-waving going on.

I know, we've discussed this at length in the past. I would write really tough standards.
-tg

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tg wrote:
(snip)
You write like Joseph Stalin.
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wrote:

spamming Usenet are much, much greater. Trust me, NO BODY uses a spammer's services or products because spammers are by definition dishonest, willing to stoop to any low life means to make a quick buck.
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On Thu, 05 Nov 2009 18:40:47 -0800, ta wrote:

I may add..
What has been forced as a conception that all these 'green' costs will remain fixed as being higher. One the one hand grand speak of market forces but when it comes to alternatives suddenly we have perpetually higher costs, the market forces now suddenly absent.
The dollar and cents of it all is certainly an issue, however, much more of a benefit is realized.

Just say it! War is one such hidden cost.
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Indeed.
Agreed . . . you can't define "cost" and "benefit" in such narrow terms.

Not so hidden really.
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On Fri, 06 Nov 2009 00:52:18 -0800, Michael Gordge wrote:

What?!? Wrong. Why do gas prices always go up during seasons of high use?
It is supply and demand. Decrease demand (should) equal higher supply (inventory backlog) therefore cheaper costs (to get rid of inventory). If high demand depletes supplies, price increases.
If the product is a necessity, all bets are off. There is no "FREE" market place if one must buy the product.

I didn't believe it but the rumors are apparently true, you are a put on! Funny, MG.
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Simply because the dopey brain dead leftist retards have so many dopey regulations that stop and or hinder any competition.

Deal with the facts, the cost of production becomes less when spread over a greater number of units.

Yes thats right, however when you have dopey laws and regulations effectively stopping any and all competition, then in reality you are handing the current provider all the opportunity he needs to state and or demand any price he feels.

Crap, food is a necessity, and again, apart from your dopey mindless regulations and subsidiess e.g. import restrictions / duties on meat and dairy products i.e. the poor consumer in the US is being used to subsidise US farmers and the US government paying US corn farmers another King's ransom, of stolen money, (tax) to produce corn for fuel instead of for food, apart from those dopey cronyism laws, the supply for food is happeing in a free market. Not to mention you can grow your own.

No I just deal in facts, the cost of power will reduce when you stop insulating your homes and use more power, but only if and when you stop your government engaging in cronyism, - inventing laws to protect mates of the state.
MG
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Not. The cost of natural gas in my area has dropped.

Let's all live outdoors and natural gas will become free? What are you smoking?
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Context dropping desperate commie cockhead, fact, the cost of production per unit reduces as the number of units produced by the same machine (e.g. a power plant) increases.
If you owned a power supply plant producing a million watts per day costing $100million to build and costing very little to maintain each year, but is now producing less and less power per day because people are insulating their homes, then your cost per unit is going to go up, you either pass that cost on or go broke.
MG
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Well I am glad someone other than myself understands these basic economic things! (And can add!)
I'm forever telling younger people that there will be other costs for the apartment they are renting or the home they are buying.
That being electric, natural gas, water, trash collection [in my area], etc.
And to factor in these costs when deciding what they can afford! (Also that finding a well insulated home would be a good idea as the energy costs will be lower.)
But it goes in one ear and out the other! They get the maximum cost house/apartment they can pay for (and not well insulated), then don't have money left over for their bills...
"ta" wrote in message

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While I agree with you to a point you also have to bear in mind product lifetime and depreciation. Wall insulation generally has a long life and can add full value to your house. It doesn't generally depreciate so you probably will recover your investment when you come to sell. However the situation regarding wind turbines and PV isn't so clear. How much is a 10 year old wind turbine worth? Will it have gained in value or depreciated?
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On Nov 8, 6:25 pm, "Cwatters"

Everything else aside, a 10 year old wind turbine should be worth pretty much the same as a new one. This kind of device has a really long useful lifetime. (50 years minimum?) As with any technology, quality of construction matters, but you have to apply the same standard to any other system for comparative reliability.
But what makes sense is the insulation and quality building standards---the return is clear and there are no questions.
-tg
-tg
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Before ANY hypothesis can be considered rationally it must have at least something real / practical or possible about it, perhaps ewe have another example?
MG
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HowTo - An Honest Look At Solar Elelctric And Hotwater Systems For Average Home Owners
http://www.yourepair.com/?pe3
Payback time for Solar is the main reason no one will install it.
The fact is you can install systems today that cost about $25,000 and they can handle about 50Amps at 115v so that is a good sized home that can have its energy OFFSET.
The deal is you collect during the day and sell to the power company which sends your electric to businesses and schools and at night you purchase back electric.
With a solar hot water heater you can collect hot water for use and heating in a large 100 to 300 gallon tank and force it through your baseboards or hvac system....
THE PROBLEM IS Solar is not being built in mass production plants in units of Millions.
This keeps the price high and they do that because companies like GE who make solar pannels also make Nuclear Reactors and Generators for Coal fire plants and HydroElectric...
If they brought the price down to $8,000 for a total install you could see Free electric after a few years
But at $30,000 or more you wont see a payback for 25 - 30 years.
Most PV systems have a 25 year waranty
ALL PV Systems are BS Old Technology that could be put together much easier then the millions of LCD / Plasma TVs we buy every year....
It is not a tech break through we need it is an Honest Company not connected to other forms of Electric Generation to mass produce these things until the price is so low it has a 5 year or less payback.
They dont have to be next generation 500Watt pannels they just have to be on our roofs right now.... and CHEAP

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I think the point was ... Why do you expect a payback? What's the payback time on the bricks you used to build the house. The theory is that payback occurs when you sell up. The question is... Does adding $30,000 worth of PV to your house increase it's value by $30,000 or is it seen as a depreciating asset? I think that very much depends on their reliability and lifetime.
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