Developers constructing homes to offset rising utility costs

Energy costs have already increased this year and are expected to follow this upward trend in the future.

Energy costs have already increased this year and are expected to follow this upward trend in the future. Meanwhile, home developers are designing increasingly efficient properties to offset the rising cost of electricity, gas and water for households.

According to a recent survey conducted by Black and Veatch of more than 500 energy industry executives, 90 percent of respondents feel that legislation promoting clean energy use could continue to drive utility costs higher, CNNMoney reports. 

A number of these executives believe energy costs could increase by between 1 and 3 percent in the near future, while more than half said they expect to see costs surge by as much as 10 percent.

Currently, real estate data indicates that the average household spends approximately $111 per month on electric bills. Should the latter prediction prove to be true, this could push average monthly expenses to an estimated $122 per month. While this may not seem like very much on its own, this extra cost can quickly add up over the course of a year and could threaten the financial safety and soundness of some households.

New rules could save lives

However, this legislation won't just result in a spike in utility bills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, new rules to reduce coal-fired power and increase renewable energy use could save up to 11,000 lives every year by preventing ailments, such as asthma, heart disease and cancer.

In an effort to help households save on utility costs in the future, KB Homes recently announced it is now selling its ZeroHouse 2.0 model in the Washington, D.C. area, HousingWire reports.

This home is said to save the average household up to 50,000 gallons of water every year and could cut annual energy expenses by as much as $6,000. While this home is currently only available to prospective owners in and around the District, if this test run proves to be successful, it could soon be offered on a more nationwide basis.
     
Additionally, to give owners of the ZeroHouse 2.0 even more control over how much energy their property consumes, activity can be monitored via smartphone. Not only will this give users an idea of their energy use in real-time, they also be able to switch off lights and alter the temperature from a remote location.



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