Energy-efficient homes aren't just for people looking to save money on their monthly utility bills. In fact, dozens of celebrities have been adopting a variety of green technologies for their very own properties. Sacrificing square-footage for eco-friendliness and extravagance for sustainable living, these stars serve as role models for anyone thinking about implementing similar changes in their own home or business.
"Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston is in the middle of replacing his Ventura, California, bungalow with what is known as a passive house – one that produces as much energy as it consumes. His new LEED-certified home will feature rooftop solar panels, rainwater recycling and high levels of insulation, among other things.
Cranston isn't the only Emmy award-winning television star with a green home. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, best known for playing Elaine on "Seinfeld," calls herself a devout environmentalist. In 2003, she and her husband had their Montecito, California, home renovated with energy-efficient appliances, sustainable hardwood floors, solar water heating, natural daylighting and rooftop solar panels.
It's impossible to focus on green-friendly celebrities without mentioning actor Ed Begley, Jr., who, in addition to his own low-impact lifestyle, also has a natural cleaning product line and a reality television program that focuses on sustainable living. Begley is currently constructing a new house designed to be "North America's greenest, most sustainable home" – a net-zero energy project he's documenting in a web series.
While these celebrities certainly have plenty of money to put toward their energy-efficient homes, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle is a realistic goal no matter what your budget is. Many states even offer incentives and rebates that cut the initial costs drastically – and that's not even including the money you'll save on utility bills once the changes have been implemented. If you're interested in finding out what options are available to you, contact a home inspection contractor to evaluate your property and help you get started.