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8 Energy Improvement Recommendations



October was National Energy Awareness Month. In Florida, most consumers would argue that the entire Summer is energy awareness season, especially when we receive our electric bill. How can Floridian’s reduce their energy bill? Here are eight improvements that will reduce your power consumption.

Wave Energy sees the reduction of energy consumption as an investment. The best way to breakdown the best energy saving ideas is to break down the savings and costs associated:

  • Costs - A Rating of how large of an investment required.

  • Equity Return - The Real Property Equity gained in your investment compared to cost.

  • Cash Flow Return - The reduction in reoccurring costs (or increase in available cash flow) in comparison to costs.

Notes:

*The 10% up to $500.00 energy credit is not stackable. Meaning, if you do more than one of the improvements, you will only receive the tax credit one time.

New Efficient Roof

  • Cost: $$$$

  • Equity Return $$$$

  • Cash Flow Return $$

  • By far, the steepest investment but also the highest returns. A quality and efficient ENERGY STAR roof installation will reduce radiant heat, increase ventilation, and prolong the life of your home. A federal 10% energy tax credit up to $500.00 is also available. A new roof will create instant equity in your home as well.

Insulation

  • Cost: $$

  • Equity Return $$$

  • Cash Flow Return $$

  • Insulation reduces radiant heat and thermal conductivity between the occupied spaces of a building and the ventilated attic or roof sub-space. A quality and efficient insulation application is required. R value is important, but the quality of the application is even more so. Gaps, bridges, and blocked ventilation can negate some efforts. Done right, insulation provides huge savings. A federal 10% tax credit up to $500.00 is also available.

Ventilation

  • Cost: $$

  • Equity Return $

  • Cash Flow Return $

  • Ventilation allows your thermal boundary to breath. Thus, shunting radiant and ambient heat from soffit to vents via thermal convection. You CAN apply to much ventilation and if the thermal boundary is not sealed, you could be exhausting your conditioned air from the occupied space. It is important to seal before creating additional ventilation. It is also important to ensure your insulation does not cover any of the ventilation intakes. Good ventilation also decreases moisture, increasing the life of your roof. A 30% solar tax credit is available for the installation of Solar Attic fans.

Thermal Boundary Seal

  • Cost: $$

  • Equity Return $$

  • Cash Flow Return $$

  • Thermal boundary bridges and bypasses must be sealed off and shunted to maximize the efficiencies of other applications. Wave Energy starts with a thermal imager survey to find locations where thermal conduction is occurring and seeks out and seals all. HVAC duct work also can bleed conditioned air into the attic or walls. Thermal sealing is by far the least expensive but most important improvement you can make. It takes patience and good detective work to find and seal these thermal bridges and bypasses. Most of the cost is tied up in labor to seek out, find, and crawl in to seal these hard to reach problem areas. Certain sealants and applications qualify for the federal 10% energy tax credit up to $500.00 (excluding labor).

HVAC

  • Cost: $$$$

  • Equity Return $$$

  • Cash Flow Return $$$

  • Air Conditioning accounts for about 30% of most Floridian’s energy costs. With that said, it is also one of the most expensive upgrades you can perform. Wave Energy recommends that if you have a working, and relatively newer AC unit, that you not invest right away. If you have a unit that is running at 30% less efficient even after maintenance, or if you have or expect to have substantial operational and maintenance costs, the its time to upgrade to a high SEER rated unit. In other words, replace your AC when the old one dies and spend the extra money for a high efficiency model. It will pay dividends in the long run. Qualifying ENERGY STAR units with a SEER rating greater than or equal to 16 are eligible for a $300.00 federal tax credit

Windows and Doors

  • Cost: $$$$

  • Equity Return $$$$

  • Cash Flow Return $

  • If your windows and doors are drafty or are of sub-par construction, then this investment might have an investment curve more similar to the thermal boundary seal recommendation. If inefficient, then an upgrade is highly recommended with a large percentage of the return seen in resale equity value due to esthetics alone. WAVE Energy likes this solution. Most of our recommendations just aren’t very sexy. Windows and Doors; people like. ENERGY STAR approved products can see a federal tax credit of up 10%: $200.00 for eligible windows and skylights, and $500 for doors, non-stackable.

Themal/Solar Reflective Roof Coatings

  • Cost: $$

  • Equity Return $

  • Cash Flow Return $$$

  • A black roof = a hot roof. This heat transfers or radiates into the attic and ceilings, walls, and joints. Heat also makes things breakdown quicker, meaning your roof will not last as long if it absorbing high levels of radiation during its life-span. A white or ‘cool’ colored roof reflects solar radiation and thus keeps the building cooler. Thermal coatings are the first line of thermal defense and the most overlooked solution. Coatings get a bit more complicated in regards to tax incentives. Read the following for more information and details: Roof Products - https://www.energystar.gov/products/building_products/roof_products

LED Lighting and Anti-Vampires

  • Cost: $

  • Equity Return $

  • Cash Flow Return $

  • LED and CFL lighting is inexpensive, lasts longer than incandescent lights, and will reduce your electric bill. LED Lighting installed as part of a home improvement modification can also increase the value of your home or business.

  • Today’s hand-held and portable electronics are small but are not small on consumption. Not only do they like power, but they continue to consume power even after fully charged. This is called ‘Vampire Drain’ and this can also be minimized by installing smart-charging ports throughout your home, especially anywhere your children like to hang out.


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