Boston looking to expand energy efficient housing development

Boston is looking to increase its amount of energy efficient homes. A pilot program in the neighborhood of Roxbury has yielded significantly positive results, with newly constructed homes generating as much as twice the energy they consume. Four of these houses were completed in Dudley Square in late August, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has approved the construction of forty more efficient units in Mission Hill.

"There is no downside to this type of housing. The technologies provide savings for the homeowners, and it's good for Boston, which is a very densely packed city that consumes a lot of energy," Sheila Dillon, head of neighborhood development under Menino, told the Boston Globe.

Each unit is made entirely with energy efficient materials, such as double-thick insulation, solar-powered equipment, triple-glazed windows, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and a clean air filtration system.

The only drawback of this project is the price of the units themselves. Each 2,000 square foot space costs $550,000, with the option to lease energy efficient equipment necessary for $105 per month, or outright purchased for an additional $50,000. While Boston officials stated they initially wanted to sell the houses for less than $400,000, the project was completed during a time of rising expenses throughout the city, where the average condominium goes for around $540,000.

But the high fee should not deter those looking for a smart investment. The units will save the average occupant $132 in utilities each month. Add this to the substantial tax credits offered by the federal government, and homeowners will make their money back in as little as five years. Public subsidies can also be used to help with the financing.

If you are looking to make your home energy efficient and live in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania or Virginia, you can get an energy audit from Alban Inspections.