When it comes to powering your new Katahdin Cedar Log Home, it’s important to carefully consider the options available for electricity, heating and cooling. Right now, natural gas, propane and oil pricing —and in some cases availability —are out of our control and heavily influenced by events both on the domestic and international stage. Power from utilities is also tied to the price of these fossil fuels, so electricity service in your area is a big consideration as well.
While that can sound a little daunting, right now is the optimal time to outfit your new Katahdin Cedar Log Home with state-of-the-art power sources, HVAC and appliances that can lock in your energy costs for twenty years or more and will cost less than ever before.
Inflation Reduction Act Offers Valuable Benefits
The Inflation Reduction Act expanded and funded generous deductions for homeowners installing highly efficient:
- Alternative energy sources
- Electric vehicles
- Energy storage batteries
Beginning in 2023 and continuing through 2034, homeowners can apply 30% Federal Tax credits on qualifying installations. This is a re-upping of the previous Residential Energy Efficiency Property Credit. It rewards consumers with more immediate purchases with the highest deductions of 30% in 2023, which eventually diminish to an equally valuable 22 % in 2034. The latest addition to the IRA is Alternative Fuel Refueling which can add on as much as $1000 tax credit when you add a charging battery to your home’s systems.
Some states and utilities also have generous energy efficiency programs to access for additional cost savings. These generally involve rebates rather than tax credits. Check your state and local energy sources for programs that might be in effect in your home’s area. A good resource is the DSIRE database that lists state-by-state programs.
How Does This Work Real Life?
The answer to that question can depend on several factors. Including a solar power array is the best way to start. Tapping into the sun’s energy is the perfect way to meet your energy needs and pay one price up front for your home’s energy for the next two decades or more. The home’s orientation, geographic location and local climate are also big aspects to consider well in advance.
All-electric homes are a growing trend and there are many experts who can guide you to equipping your home with the appropriate combination for power generation, storage, heating and cooling. Heat pumps and on-demand hot water heaters can provide the comfort you need while maintaining excellent efficiency. Your Katahdin Cedar Log Home also can be configured to equip with solar panels using specific wiring chases and locations for key elements like inverters and batteries.
Back Up Plans
If going completely off-grid is not your style, there are great options that can still cut your long-term energy costs without creating stress over running out of power. Many states’ utility providers utilize net metering, which keeps you connected to the electrical grid for security and “stores” your excess electricity from solar generation. Though the purchase price per kilowatt/hour is not equivalent to their selling price, it is a painless way to power up and still have access to conventional electrical service.
Living in a colder climate like Maine also encourages homeowners to install other forms of heat for times when the power is not available. Some of these alternatives might be a wood or pellet stove, which can provide heat on the coldest days when heat pumps are at top efficiency or in emergencies when electricity is unavailable. If selecting a pellet stove, be sure to find one with battery backup!
Geothermal heating and cooling is another efficient electric-powered option that some homeowners select. This taps the constant heat of the earth just a few feet below the surface that can be transformed with a heat pump into hot and cool air or hot water. A geothermal system is most cost-effectively installed when excavating for a new foundation and septic system, when the equipment is on-site and available.
So, the possibilities to lock in your power and home comfort for decades to come are quite impressive. It’s a good feeling to know that your Katahdin Cedar Log Home will be as efficient to live in now as it will be in twenty years!