Ready Or Not...First Broadcast Two Package

As the recession continues, people are looking to save money. For homeowners that means changing the way they build their homes. Tara Grimes shows us how one Fulton resident is building a brighter future.

FULTON - The strong smell of fresh paint filled the air Saturday afternoon, as homeowner Shad Salmons continued to work on his home - the first Fulton home to be built and certified as energy efficient.

Even with the grim prospect of the recession, homeowners are finding new ways to stay bright and save money. For Salmons, his optimistic outlook started five years ago when he purchased a lot of land in the Market Key Place development area. After speaking with the developer, Salmons decided to build an energy efficient home.

Salmons has worked as a lineman at Callaway Electric for nine years and knows the benefits of a green home. He has heard numerous times about the amount of money a person can save if they decide to design their home with Energy Star appliances.

“I think a lot of people are scared to spend money, they don’t know what their job situation is going to be and I think it’s got a big impact on where the house market is now,” Salmons said. “I think what helped me out is the tax credits, rebates and that’s a big plus. The Energy Star costs a bit more, but it also saves you a lot in the long run, which is big. It pays for itself.”

For seven years, Salmons and his wife lived in a small ranch style home in downtown Fulton. Salmons said he cannot wait to move into his new home and see his utility bills drop.

Inside the new home, Salmons has an electric furnace that will reduce his heating bills significantly, florescent light bulbs that use 75 percent less energy and last up to ten times longer than a normal incandescent light, effective insulation to keep the house warm during the winter and cold during the summer, and tightly sealed windows and doors to help keep moisture out.

But for Salmons, his favorite appliance is the ground source pump. This pump takes the earth's temperature to provide heat, cooling, or hot water for a home. According to Salmons, the ground source pays for itself in seven to eight years compared to an electric furnace.

The process hasn’t exactly been easy for Salmons though. He said he was nervous before he began building the home.

“I didn’t really know much when I began this, but I have just been talking to different people,” Salmons said. “I’ve learned as I went. I wasn’t 100 percent sure on things, like appliances and hot water heaters, but just ask a lot of questions. That’s the only way you get answers. That’s what helped me out.”

Just down the street, neighbor and construction company owner Gene Vaughn, is also planning to build his own energy efficient home.

Vaughn said although the home buying market is down, those looking to build homes lean more towards energy efficient homes.

“Statistics show that you’re going to saving a considerable amount of money on your utility bills over a period of time,” Vaughn said. “I think in some cases in the winter you could be saving 50 to 70 percent on your heating bills and in the summer 20 to 30 percent. It could be an extremely large amount of savings so when you look at those figures, it doesn’t take that long to pay for the costs up front.”

According to Vaughn, for a home to become Energy Star certified a homeowner must first contact an official Energy Star builder. They then work with the builder to create a plan for their home. The homeowner or the builder works with a home energy rater to inspect and test their home. After two inspections a rater can certify a home as being energy efficient. The certification cost can add up to about $700.

He urges homeowners to look into federal tax credit and Missouri rebates on different appliances. Currently the government is offering tax credit to cover 30 percent up to $1,500 on certain Energy Star products.

But Vaughn said he sees even more than just the benefit of saving money. He said having an energy efficient home can help in the resale value of the home.

As the economy gets better Vaughn said he expects more public interest in the coming years for building energy efficient homes.

“I think they’re going to be more conscious of the benefits and they’ll be wanting to investing a little bit more to get the full benefit of it,” Vaughn said. “I think that the Energy Star is the way to go and I’m just pleased that there is a lot of interest in it. I’m looking forward to building a lot of Energy Star homes myself.”

In the end, Vaughn and Salmons said they will be using their energy efficient homes to keep both the environment and their wallets green.


Post a Comment

Copyright © Tara Grimes
Web Statistics