Light bulb on a branch

Since 1970, April 22 marks Earth Day, a global celebration in support of environmental protections. As events like this push climate change issues to the forefront, homeownership has increasingly become an avenue to contribute to the effort.

From green mortgages to efficiency improvements, the motivations to participate are both financial and ecological. Not only can taking steps to go green be an effective strategy to cut costs, but it may also reduce your vulnerability to a changing climate now and in the future.

Go Green Early

Several Energy Efficient Mortgage programs are available to help homebuyers get off on the right foot. The mortgages can provide increased borrowing power that will finance efficiency improvements, in addition to the sales price of the home.

In some cases, these loans are available for homes that already meet energy efficiency standards. The monthly cost savings that result from higher efficiency allow the buyer to qualify for a higher mortgage than they might otherwise. Either route offers a path to capitalize immediately on the long-term savings that green improvements can provide.

Easy Upgrades

If you’re not in the market to buy a new home or refinance your existing mortgage, you still have options. Many homeowners overlook efficiency improvements that can pay for themselves relatively quickly.

A smart thermostat, LED light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, and dimmer switches take minimal effort to install but can dramatically reduce your consumption. Added insulation in attics, upgraded windows, and solar panels are a more substantial commitment but will likely allow you to recoup your costs in a few years.

More than Money

As we saw recently in Texas, an unexpected loss of power can be devastating. While whole home generators are a proven way to combat a grid’s failure, recent advances such as integrating a battery system into a solar panel installation can provide a greener option for storing power in case of an emergency.

And while it won’t have a noticeable impact right away, the simple act of adding some trees or other plantings to your property will undoubtedly be a step in the right direction. The shade from large trees can reduce the cost of cooling a home, and their beneficial impact on greenhouse gasses is well documented.

Find out if a green mortgage is the best fit for your future by calling Open Mortgage today. And go online to for more resources for homeowners and ways to make the most of your financing options.

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