7 Components to Making Your Home Green

Monday, August 7th, 2017

We’ve all heard the easy tips for helping the environment—shorten your showers, recycle, and turn the lights off when you leave the room. But if you want to make a bigger impact in conserving your resources, there are some major ways to go green in your home. Try these seven fixes to make your home more environmentally friendly.

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1. Replace Your Bulbs

This easy fix makes a bigger impact than you might think. Replace regular, incandescent bulbs in your home with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs. You’ll be helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving on your monthly electric bill, too.

 

2. Revamp the Floors

Whether you’re already planning to renovate or just want to make a big change in the name of going green, your floors are a great place to start. Adding carpet or rugs to your home can help reduce energy costs by 4-6 percent and help reduce emissions from your heating system. If you love the look of hardwood floors, opt for certified sustainable lumber or bamboo, which grows more quickly than traditional timber trees.

Solar Power Rankings

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Desert Array

According to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the United States solar power market passed the 20 gigawatts of capacity milestone during the second quarter of this year.

New installations of solar power during the second quarter nationwide totaled nearly 1,400 megawatts.

Overall, the U.S. installed 2.7 gigawatts of solar power panels during the first half of 2015, and is on track for a record-breaking 7.7 gigawatts of new capacity this year.

Colorado’s rankings for solar power are 9, 13, and 11:

  • 9th nationwide in terms of overall solar power capacity
  • 13th nationwide in terms of the amount of solar power capacity added in 2014, during which Colorado added 67 megawatts of solar power systems
  • 11th nationwide in terms of the amount of solar power added during the second quarter of 2015

Colorado’s Wind Power Rankings

Monday, October 19th, 2015

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According to new reports from the U.S. Department of Energy, Colorado ranks 7th nationally for wind-power generation capacity installed in 2014, and 10th for total wind power installed through last year.

Colorado had 261 megawatts of wind-driven energy production capacity installed last year, roughly the equivalent of the power needed to serve 69,600 typical homes.

As for the percentage of each state’s power generated by wind, Colorado ranks 8th, at 13.6 percent.

Also, a recent report from the American Wind Energy Association said that Colorado employs more than 6,000 workers in wind-power manufacturing, which is the third highest amount nationally.

Alaris is also committed to preserving the environment. We can help you market or buy properties with “green” features. The future is going to be full of alternative energy generation. Make sure you are on top of this topic when you are ready to buy or sell a home. Email us at info@alarisproperties.com if you have a question you would like us to answer. We are here to serve you.

Be Aware of Closing Costs

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Creative top view photo of young sleeping bisinessman. Man lying near paper, watches, purse with money, pencil, calculator, straight edge tool, glasses and tablet computer on the light-colored woodblocks

The average closing costs to buy a home in Colorado are $1,910, according to a survey by bankrate.com. Be sure you are working with a Realtor(R) who can help you be sure you are not overpaying.

The survey asked for costs for a buyer with excellent credit for a $200,000 single-family home mortgage loan, with a 20 percent down payment from up to 10 lenders in each state.

Colorado may be the 12th highest in the country, but there wasn’t a big spread across the country when it came to closing costs, which averaged $1,847.

In Colorado specifically, the survey determined that average origination fees were $1,192 and third-party fees were $719. The government has once again changed the way these costs are shown to buyers in an effort to help buyers understand for what they are paying. The point is that the costs can vary and buyers should shop for the best deals and best rates.

Solar*Connect Shutdown

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Solar*Connect (XCEL’s solar power program that would have allowed customers to pay a premium on their monthly utility bills to support solar energy) has officially been shut down by Colorado utility regulators.

The utility planned to allow customers to buy blocks of solar power equal to a percentage of their monthly power usage, from 25 percent up to 100 percent, and XCEL planned to have 50 megawatts worth of solar power in the program if state regulators approved the plan.

XCEL has run a similar monthly premium program that supports wind power, called WindSource, since 1998. WindSource has 36,000 subscribers in Colorado who have purchased more than 1 billion kilowatt hours of power over the years.

However, the three members of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to deny XCEL’s application to start Solar*Connect. The commissioners said XCEL didn’t show its customers wanted the program and worried that it didn’t provide a level playing field with companies already working in the community solar power sector.

Solar Loan Market Exploding

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Solar panel installation

According to a new study by GTM (Greentech Media) Research, thousands of solar power panels were installed on home rooftops in 2014, but very few of them were owned by the homeowners.

About 72 percent of the 1.2 gigawatts worth of solar power panels installed on residential rooftops were owned by third parties, with homeowners paying for the panels or the power generated by the systems via leases or power-purchase agreements.

The remaining systems were owned by the homeowner who typically used loans to pay for the systems up front.

In fact, the residential market in the U.S. has grown in 15 of the last 16 quarters, largely due to third-party financing arrangements such as leases.

With third-parties picking up the tab for installing the systems, homeowners pay for the systems via a multi-year contract that’s a lease on the system itself or a power purchase agreement to buy the power the systems generate.

Leading the Nation in Positive Equity

Friday, October 9th, 2015

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Denver’s housing market is leading the nation in a variety of categories.

Homes here sell faster than homes in any other market, the market leads the country in rising home prices, and the housing inventory here is as low as any other place in the country. In fact, according to a recent report by Zillow, Denver has 16.6 percent less homes for sale today than in 2014. Historic inventory is off by approximately 50%.

Now, however, Denver leads in another residential real estate category: the percentage of homes in foreclosure that have positive equity.

In a new report by RealtyTrac, the share of distressed properties in Denver with positive equity is 83.7 percent, which is a higher percentage than anywhere else in the country.

Nationally, the figure is 42.4 percent, and Colorado takes the lead at 72 percent.

Click here to see the full report.

Millennials Still Living with Parents

Friday, September 18th, 2015

family quarrels with the husbands mother

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, more millennials are living with their parents today than at the depth of the recession, despite an improved job market.

The amount of young adults living in their parents’ homes has increased from 24 percent in 2010 to 26 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

During that same period, the unemployment rate for adults ages 18 to 34 dropped from 12.4 percent in 2010 to 7.7 percent this year.

Despite the fact that there are 3 million more Americans in the 18-34 range now than there were in 2007 (Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers), the number who are living independently has fallen from 42.7 million in 2007 to 42.2 million today. This is directly related to the fact that because of skyrocketing home/apartment prices and wage stagnation, millennials are being priced out of urban living and home ownership.

Colorado on Top for Inexpensive Energy

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

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Colorado remains on top for inexpensive energy. In fact, according to a new WalletHub study, Colorado ranks just below Washington D.C. for the least expensive energy cost out of all 50 states.

Colorado’s overall average monthly energy cost was $224 ($93 for electricity, $44 for natural gas, and $107 for motor fuel), which is down from last year’s average of $301.

Click here to see the full study.

Check out Alaris’ Gratitude Corner and be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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Fifth Solar City in the Country

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

photovoltaic panels

BuildZoom recently used solar power building permits for residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects to rank the nation’s 40 largest cities, and Denver ranks fifth in the country.

Based on the estimated number of solar power systems per capita, at 6.22, Denver ranks only behind San Diego (14.64), San Jose (10.07), Phoenix (8.71) and the Riverside, California area (8.55)

alarissolar

The U.S.average for the number of solar power systems per capita is only 2.26.

Colorado has mandated that at least 30 percent of energy be renewable by 2020, and we’re well on our way. We are grateful for a state that works toward these goals. Check out Alaris’ Gratitude Corner and be sure to follow us on Twitter.

 

Click here for BuildZoom’s full set of intriguing data.