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Home Energy Retrofits vs. Microsoft Stock

13 May 2010

I love real life examples of the shear economic awesomeness of energy efficiency.  It’s one thing to talk about the long term benefits, but it’s quite another to see energy efficiency in this context: what is wiser, buying $10K of Microsoft stock or investing the same amount in increasing your home’s energy efficiency?

The Microsoft stock worth $10,000 in May 2005 would have turned into just over $12,100 five years later (a return of 21% over 5 years), including the increase in stock price and the dividends paid out over the course of the 5 years. But it turns out that the home energy retrofit would have been the much better investment.  If Julie had spent $10,000 on a retrofit for her 2000 square foot home in Philadelphia, including a new gas furnace, attic insulation, duct sealing and foundation insulation in her basement, the investment would have returned 49% over 5 years, in terms of lower utility bills and increased resale value.

So, if you’re looking for a smart place to invest with a high rate of return and long term benefits, look no further than your own home.  Cool!

:: Grist, EnergySavvy

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