For even the most
manic committed TreeHugger, doing the math and figuring out if a first (or yet another) green upgrade or remodel computes is a good idea. It's no secret that most "green" things carry a price premium, but many can pay for themselves with increased efficiency over time -- a concept known as "return on investment," or ROI.
While some things, like dishwashers and low-flow showerheads, can be easier to figure -- just compare your old model's water and energy consumption with the specs of a new, Energy Star-rated model alongside your water and energy costs -- other efficiency upgrades, like sealing the leaks in your heating ducts -- can be harder to figure. That's where Green & Save's Master ROI Table comes in to play. They've done the math (with a few assumptions, like your current energy costs, thrown in, but it's easy to adjust for your particular situation) and can tell you that sealing those duct leaks will pay for itself in a year and a half, saving you $300 a year (whoa, that's $3,000 in the next ten -- it adds up quickly!). While projects like these are easier for homeowners to implement, for renters, the numbers and big dollar savings can be good motivation for your landlord to upgrade, especially if they pay for some or all of your utilities.