Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine. In addition to writing print and online articles, Erica oversees the magazine's Broker to Broker content, co-manages the 30 Under 30 program, and manages the YPN Lounge. Connect with her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lower Your Energy Bills
These improvements will help create a sustainable physical office and lower energy costs.
September - October
For brokers who own their own building, these improvements will help create a sustainable physical office, model environmental responsibility, and lower energy costs.
- Install commercial solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of your business. The cost depends on the system size, roof size, and what type of credit your local utility offers. Systems sized to produce between 4kW and 20kW will cost roughly $10,000 to $40,000 for a small building.
- Consider installing Sun Tunnels, long tubes made of flexible or ridged reflective sheet metal that act as mirrors to channel natural light into a building. They can significantly reduce electrical consumption. A light tube costs about $500 to $1,000 when professionally installed, compared with more than $2,000 for a skylight.
- Replace bulbs with LEDs; they’re 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
- Superinsulate your building to reduce the amount of natural gas required to heat it. Upgrading insulation from R-11 to R-49, for example, can save up to 50% on heating and cooling bills.
- Invest in an electric car. A Tesla Model X may have an $80,000 price tag, but the average annual driving cost is far lower because it doesn’t consume gas. Add 240-volt charging station outlets outside your building. Electric vehicles can charge up for free with your solar PV system. Plus, it’s a nice recruiting tool.
Source: Jim Smith, broker-owner, Golden Real Estate Inc., Golden, Colo.; HouseLogic