Weatherizing Homes: Winter of Discontent

The record winter that 2011 is producing across the nation is focusing more people to seriously think about green building and home weatherization. This snowy, icy cold winter comes on the heals of very frigid seasons in 2010. As the energy bills go up, resistance is falling to the ideas of investing in tighter sealed homes with better insulation and energy alternatives. All of a sudden, green building is starting to leave more green in the pockets of homeowners with better weatherized houses. Interest in weatherization incentives and rebates offered by the federal government, and similar programs from state and local agencies, are at an all-time high as homeowners look to improve their dwellings and reduce their monthly energy costs.

Some early adopters are now reaping the benefits of investing in green, energy-efficient construction techniques with better insulated homes. Those that embraced the concept by upgrading existing homes or including these in new construction prior to this cold winter of energy-bill discontent are wearing warm smiles.  It’s amazing how a hard winter can mean an acceleration in the return on investment as heating bills skyrocket.

While the benefits are realized no matter when such improvements are made, it is typically harder to achieve the maximum performance in retrofit situations.  The extra expense of incorporating higher energy efficiency into the design and construction of a new home provide the fastest return on the investment with superior performance and reduced energy expenses. Particularly when it’s this cold for this long.

A recent story from MaineBiz online provides an excellent example of the results one such early adopter is achieving this winter.  Dan Kolbert, owner of Kolbert Building in Portland, is a green home builder who is “walking the talk.” The extra investment in homes where his customers have included cellulose insulation, and other energy-efficient features, are paying off in spades this winter. He believes the idea of green building, with the benefits greater energy-efficiency in residential construction, may finally heat up in the mainstream. Read more about his experience and that of CIMA producer member National Fiber. It’s a story worth repeating across the nation–this winter and beyond.

To calculate how much you could be saving by just adding cellulose insulation to your home, check out our savings calculator. We guarantee this winter the savings would likely be even higher!

Here’s to spring.

Dan Lea, CIMA Executive Director

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