'Eco-Flippers' Turn Foreclosures Into Energy-Efficient Homes

With smart planning, every home can reduce its energy consumption.
(Photo: Basic Gov / Creative Commons)
Aug 8, 2012· 0 MIN READ

By Living Green Magazine via Business Week

When Christine Fisk toured a foreclosed home in Phoenix that had been renovated to be more energy-efficient, she wasn’t sold on its environmental benefits.

A year in, Fisk is a believer: Her last electric bill was under $40, far less than she expected. “My day-to-day reality is dollars and cents, so everything that trickles down into my pocketbook is important,” she says.

The retrofit of Fisk’s 1947 home was overseen by G Street, one of a growing number of small businesses that buy old homes, renovate them to be more energy-efficient, and sell them. These “eco flippers” spend tens of thousands of dollars to gut properties, revamp heating and cooling systems, improve insulation, and install greener appliances.

MORE: How Green Is Your Bathroom?

The business model is “a convergence of the vast number of foreclosed or short sales on the market and customers’ increased interest in energy efficiency,” says Peter Brown, a director at Earth Advantage Institute, a Portland (Ore.) nonprofit that advocates sustainable construction methods. “It goes beyond marketing.”

To finish the story, head on over to Green Living Magazine.

What steps have you taken to make your home energy-efficient? Discuss in the comments.