More and more NH builders are using energy saving building techniques in Southern New Hampshire., offering some of the latest technology in heating and cooling homes. The term green construction is becoming more common as energy costs soar across the nation.
There has been a lot of interest in Geothermal technology which takes advantage of the relatively stable temperature of the earth to help heat and cool your home. A series of pipes, called a loop, is installed underground. A water solution is circulated through this loop where it picks up heat from the earth. This heat is brought back to a heat pump in the home and from there it is circulated through duct work to heat your home. In the summer months this process is reversed so that heat is extracted from the home and deposited back into the earth. According to the PSNH website, actual operating costs average 48 cents per square foot per year for heat, hot water, and A/C. Even though the systems are costly, the advantages are obviously reduced operating costs, lower maintenance, its cleaner than burning oil, wood, gas or coal and you should look into Energystar and power company incentives.
Other energy savings and eco friendly techniques that are embraced in New Hampshire are solar and passive solar technologies. There are simple and subtle changes that can be made with new construction, without installing solar panels, such as orienting the house to be facing South and installing lots of insulated triple pane glass; we see sunrooms with tile floors that open up to main living spaces, separated by doors to cut down heat loss at night, but open them up and let the sunshine and warmth flood in during the day. Builders and property owners have not embraced wind technology in NH at this point.
With the high price of energy and New Hampshire’s cold Winter climate, alternative energy sources are becoming more and more popular. This year we have seen a resurgence of “clean coal” that is marketed as washed and is not the messy dusty coal of the past. It is marketed with clean burning coal stoves.
Tax Credits are Still Available
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended tax credits for energy efficient home improvements (windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters). Tax credits for these residential products, which had expired at the end of 2007, will now be available for improvements made during 2009. However, improvements made during 2008 are not eligible for a tax credit. The bill also extended tax credits for solar energy systems, wind energy and fuel cells to 2016. New tax credits were established for small wind energy systems and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Tax credits for builders of new energy efficient homes and tax deductions for owners and designers of energy efficient commercial buildings were also extended. We suggest you research these credits to be sure they apply to your project, prior to getting started.