Dena Stevens povides not just food for thought with this post but a whole meal !
During a recent conversation with another agent and appraiser we got into the ever-so-common discussion of what is the right way to build an energy efficient, sustainable, environmentally friendly house. For the most part he and I agreed on every point. This conversation took several hours but was a great way to exchange ideas and hopefully build our respective businesses.
Many people today are asking builders to build their new construction homes with the newest, biggest, most modern gizmos. Whether it's photo voltaic, hot water systems, wind turbines or anything else that has bells or whistles. But is the home owner chasing wind mills?
Functional Obsolescence is the impairment of the usefulness of a device or equipment due to a design defect, or due to it's inability to be upgraded or modified to serve the user's current needs.
Installers of Photo Voltaic systems are advising home owners to replace their roofs prior to the PV installation. (If roof mounted) The average PV system has a warranty of between 10 and 25 years modified or discounted every year and the warranty or average life span of the roof is 30 years or less, it makes sense to do both projects at once.
Many people are interested in purchasing PV systems today because of the tax credits available. But just as many are putting off the purchase because of the cost and because a newer system is always around the corner. The next newest gizmo is always going to be improving in quality and efficiency.
PV Life cycle info: http://photovoltaics.sandia.gov/docs/LCcost.htm From this site : One dollar received today is worth more than the promise of $1 next year, because the $1 today can be invested and earn interest.
So what is the correct answer when a home owner asks what to do? Does the owner invest today based on the information above? Or wait to see what will happen tomorrow?
Some of the things that we agreed upon in our conversation:
1) The homeowner is right, after all the owner is the one writing the check.
2) There are some great passive solar designs out that will save the home owner money up front, are sustainable and cost effective in the long run.
Homeowners, builders, investors, real estate professionals all need to educate themselves on ALL of the options available. What is the correct balance between active and passive systems? Is the newest gizmo better than some tried and true proven designs?
Thanks to Deb Hurt : www.activerain.com/debhurt for the additional inspiration on this blog post : http://weburbanist.com/2009/02/19/abandoned-windmills/
Pueblo is happy to welcome Vestas to Southern Colorado