Jan
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Geothermal Energy is the Latest Trend for Real Estate in Chicago

January 29, 2013

Geothermal HomeIf you attended the International Builder’s Show last week, you may have noticed that energy-efficiency was a huge topic of discussion at both the seminars and exhibit booths. One of the latest home trends that is getting a lot of attention in 2013 is the use of geothermal energy, which is a great way to go green and save money.

Geothermal energy, which is energy generated and stored in the earth rather than from fossil fuels, can heat your home in the winter and keep it cool in the summer as well as maintain a home’s hot water temperature without using any harmful materials. Geothermal energy can also improve air quality in your home and reduce utility costs by as much as 50 percent.

The biggest drawback to geothermal energy is its hefty price tag, as installation starts at around $20,000 to $25,000 for a 2,500 square-foot home. However, homeowners who choose to add these energy efficient options will receive a tax credit of up to 30 percent of the installation and labor cost.

If installing your own geothermal system seems a bit daunting, it is helpful to know that some home builders are selling homes that are already equipped with the latest energy saving features. In Elmhurst, Ill., for example, home builder Styczynski Walker & Associates constructed a new home that features an open-loop geothermal heating system that uses water pumped from a well, a heat exchanger that recycles energy and solar panels installed on the roof.

According to McGraw-Hill Construction, green building is expected to represent 55 percent of all commercial and institutional construction by 2016, so expect to see a lot more energy-saving features coming to new home communities near you.

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Jessica Thom

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