Finding an energy efficient home in Las Vegas

Living in Las Vegas, residents have to deal with summer temperatures higher than 100 degrees and winter temperatures near freezing, both of which prompt large energy bills. Those looking for real estate in Las Vegas may benefit from finding a home that is energy efficient, or by taking simple steps to make the home more efficient.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, homes make up 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions as well. As this fact becomes more commonly known, some banks are giving homeowners financial benefits for their decision to make an energy efficient home. The Energy Efficient Mortgage from Wells Fargo is available for properties where a home has been upgraded to consume less energy.

“The benefit to the buyer is that they can use their energy savings upfront to buy more home for the money,” Gloria Calderon, regional builder sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Las Vegas told Distinctive Homes. “Because homeowners will have more cash in their pockets at the end of the month they can buy a bigger house. In fact, most EEM borrowers qualify for up to 10 percent more mortgage than those with conventional loans.”

Funded partially by the Department of Energy’s Building America program, the Building America Retrofit Alliance is working alongside Nevada ENERGY STAR Partners–Green Alliance and with Better Building Performance, a Las Vegas company that upgrades homes with energy efficient features. Homes have already been remodeled in the Carmen and Sierra neighborhoods.

Some of the features added to the homes were estimated, according to Home Energy. The construction workers added ventilation with an energy recovery ventilator, implemented several air-sealing performance measurements and added foam insulation under the exterior stucco.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average homeowner can save up to 30 percent on energy bills if they have the correct insulation installed, and in Las Vegas that could mean saving a significant amount of money. As Las Vegas energy bills often reach their peak during July and August, using solar energy is an ideal solution. However, making sure a home has double glazed windows is also a good energy saving measure, as double panes are considerably better than single pane. Other things to look for consider when purchasing a home are the heating and cooling systems, energy efficient appliances, programmable thermostats, desert landscaping and tight ductwork.