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Aug 30 2013

6 Renewable Energy Projects for a Sustainable Vacation Rental Home

Guest Post from Liz Nelson, WhiteFence.com

Studies have shown that people are becoming more likely to visit vacation hotspots if a renewable energy method has been implemented. As this trend continues to grow, putting off adding your own sustainable methods to your rental property could eventually affect your rental income. There are many ways you can entice the eco-friendly vacationer by changing a few key items within the property. Although some of these may cost as much as $1000 or more, the savings to you could be well worth the investment.

  1. Tankless vs Tank Chart from TanklessWaterHeaterGuide.comTankless Water Heaters – Particularly given that most vacation rentals roll utility costs into the rent, the water heater could be taxing a great deal of gas or electricity – depending on what you have installed. Tankless water heaters work on demand, greatly reducing the amount of energy that is required for regular operation. Instead of keeping a 40 gallon tank hot at all times whether it’s in use or not, water is heated as it’s used.
  2. Lighting – Using CFL and LED bulbs within the residence can save you money in a variety of ways. Not only do they use far less electricity to operate, but they also have a much longer lifespan – usually 10 times that of conventional lighting methods. That means you have less bulbs to replace over time.
  3. How to Start - Home Wind Power from WindTurbinesHome.netSolar Arrays – Adding solar can increase your home’s appeal to your vacationers as well as save you money from utility bills. You don’t have to install an elaborate $40,000 system, however. Solar arrays can be installed piecemeal, allowing you to offset some of the electricity used in the property. You can even dedicate specific appliances and other needs off the grid for less than $500.
  4. Wind Turbines – Installing wind turbines can be comparable in cost to installing solar.  Unlike solar power, which is reliant on sunlight, however, a turbine could be superior as the wind could be blowing 20 hours per day, if your property sits in an area that has wind blowing constantly. A single turbine for $4000 could provide enough power to turn a medium sized property into a 100-percent self-sustained energy lot.
  5. Learn more about the features of an Energy Star Certified HomeWashers and Dryers – Installing High Efficiency (HE) washer and dryer combos can greatly save on your water and electricity bills. These washers utilize far less water to clean clothing, and dryers utilize humidity sensors in order to determine when to shut off automatically. Instead of taking 50 minutes for the dryer cycle to complete, it could be done in as little as 20 minutes – depending on what is in the dryer. Theoretically, this could reduce the energy used by these appliances by half.
  6. Energy Star Compliance – Replacing older appliances with energy star compliant ones can help reduce your monthly costs. This could also be used as a marketing point by claiming that your property is completely energy star compliant.

When describing your property to potential tenants, every bit of sustainable technology should be mentioned in order to encourage interest. It all boils down to proper marketing of your vacation rental, and you would be amazed at how many people are actively looking for eco-friendly properties.  Promote interest in your property – and save yourself some money – by investigating the possibilities of improving your rental with renewable energy alternatives.

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About the author

Liz Nelson

Liz Nelson, from WhiteFence.com, is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17@gmail.com.

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