New Year’s resolutions for homeowners: Focus on energy efficiency

The benefits of maximizing energy efficiency at home are obvious. Homeowners decrease their carbon footprint and thereby help the environment, while reducing the cost of monthly utilities and other expenditures. While some energy efficient appliances that are available may be more expensive initially, investing in household fixtures that use less energy can save you money in the long run. One of the major rewards conscientious homeowners can earn for their commitment to energy efficiency is a reduced real estate insurance rate.

In 2015, you might have a replacement project on the horizon that presents an opportunity to go a little bit greener in your selection. Whether you need a new washer or dryer, or to gut and replace your central heating and cooling system, the marketplace provides options at many different price points that can satisfy requirements for an insurance break. Insurers love energy efficiency because green systems are often more fire safe and result in fewer claims. 

"If you currently have a green home, you ought to be able to get a discount under a green insurance policy because of the risk-reduction benefits associated with green buildings," said Andrew Logan, director of insurance programs for Ceres, in The Wall Street Journal. 

Premium reductions can come as the result of updates to an older home, but also provide significant encouragement to individuals who take on building a new home or structure. By investing in more eco-friendly materials, home builders can take advantage of discounts that free up resources and ease monthly budgets. 

Ever more so, regulations have driven the offerings of manufacturers toward cleaner, less wasteful models. In the new year, consider features that will boost energy efficiency.