Perhaps one of the biggest factors holding back widespread adoption of sustainability in the home is the cost—or is it? One new survey suggests 56% of U.S. internet households would select renewables as an energy source if costs were the same and 36% say they would pay more to use power from renewable sources. That is a start.
And it seems this is a trend that is already starting to take hold too. Parks Associates research shows 45% of broadband households made energy-saving renovations or added major energy devices in 2021, which is an all-time high.
This is a trend that is likely to continue too, as the geopolitical conflict in Eastern Europe has created volatility in the oil and gas market, along with other factors that are driving up costs and creating high demand for alternatives.
In what ways are homeowners embracing energy-saving renovations already? While smart thermostat adoption has been flat the past few years, consumers are receptive to the benefits of solar panels, including nearly half (44%) who value the savings and one-third (34%) who value the energy independence.
I have talked about the cost of solar in depth on this blog already, but the big takeaway is there is a hefty price tag. Naturally, the cost of solar panels is going to depend on the type of system, roof type, and the location of the home or building, with the average cost ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $35,000. Yes, that is a wide range to consider. And in some cases other factors can make costs even higher. While prices have dropped in the past decade, I am not sure they are dropping fast enough for the average consumer, although there are some big players just beginning to enter the market that could shake things up a bit. It will be interesting to see how they make their mark.
Sustainability and green building have long offered the promise to be more sustainable for the environment and for the homeowner in the long run. However, there is one big hurdle that has often stood in the way: cost. The question we are all asking is this beginning to change? If the homeowner can see the clear, quick ROI (return on investment), I am confident we will begin to seem them pull out their pocketbooks. Now that is something you can best on. Do you agree?
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