American housing stock is more energy-efficient than ever, and the trend is only poised to accelerate. The green sector of the construction industry is actually growing faster than conventional building, according to the United States Green Building Council. What does that mean for you? Next time you purchase a home, you might be surprised at how much less you pay every month for heat and air conditioning.
Demand for Green Building Continues to Grow
USGBC released a report called “2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study,” prepared by Booz Allen Hamilton, which paints a rosy picture of the industry. "Green building is playing a massive role in the U.S. construction sector, the clean and efficient energy sector and the U.S. economy as a whole," USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi said in a press release. "Demand for green building will only continue to grow as individuals, businesses and institutions continue to prioritize sustainable approaches to the design, construction and operations of our built environment."
About 2.3 million Americans were employed by the green building industry last year, bringing in around $134.3 billion in income, according to the report, which further projected that 3.3 million people would be employed by 2018 earning $190.3 billion. That's great news for construction workers, manufacturers and the U.S. economy in general, but it also brings a direct benefit to consumers. That's because one of the most visible results of building a green home is a reduction in heat and air conditioning bills.
How Green Standards Lead to Lower Heat and Air Conditioning Expenses
Green building means constructing homes and offices that use less energy and are more sustainable, often following standards set by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED certified buildings already make up about 40 percent of the construction industry's GDP contribution, the report notes. The area where the rules make one of the biggest impacts is HVAC.
Heat and air conditioning accounts for nearly half of the average American family's energy spending, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Green building standards help in a variety of ways, among them improving the building's envelope and using better insulation to prevent the loss of treated air, using the latest in efficient heat and air conditioning equipment and incorporating passive design elements to take advantage of the energy of the sun.
Increase the Efficiency of Your Home Today
Don't wait until you buy a new home to cut back on your heat and air conditioning bills – take advantage of the many steps you can take around your current home to conserve. To schedule an energy audit to help identify the best ways to increase your HVAC efficiency, contact your local home comfort experts.