By renovating abandoned and deteriorating properties into energy-efficient homes, the city of Topeka, Kansas, is able to offer residents of the historic Elmhurst neighborhood affordable houses that will cost them very little in monthly utility bills.
According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, a local media outlet, a new two-story property funded by the metro is almost finished being built. Although it looks like other homes in the area, the $92,000 residence features eco-friendly insulation, double-pane windows, a high-efficiency heating and cooling system and additional green technology upgrades.
Warren Woodruff, rehabilitation supervisor for the city's Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development, told the source that gas and electricity bills are expected to total just $83 per month for the woman planning to occupy the property.
"We try to build our homes so they are energy-efficient," Woodruff said to the Topeka Capital-Journal. "The reason for that is to make them more affordable for our buyers, as they will have substantially lower utility bills in the future."
In appreciation of the city's efforts to bring cost-effective, sustainable houses to local residents, Topeka has received national 5-star energy awards and is recognized as one of the top metros in the United States working toward ambitious, eco-friendly goals. Some companies, such as Blue Dot of Kansas, have even given homeowners in the area free energy audits to help them determine how they can save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
If you're interested in making energy-efficient upgrades to your home, you'll be happy to hear that the state of Maryland provides multiple rebate offerings, including those from Pepco and Potomac Edison, which make the initial implementation more cost-effective. To get started, contact a home inspection contractor to perform an energy audit.