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Old 04-26-2010, 03:30 PM   #1
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The "Value Proposition" in Green


I was wondering what economic value is actually produced by a green product. Are there any economic models that show how spending money on green ** expensive ** products adds value to the economy? I am probably wrong, but it somehow seems like it's value is mostly people feeling good about what they will get back in 10 years and thus it is a black hole of no value...?

Put another way, supposing lots of folks start to want to spend money on "green." It seems like they don't actually get any real economic value out of it so it's a bust...
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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The "Value Proposition" in Green


if you get a return or paypack in 10 years you are doing a lot of value. The house should last at least 100 years. So that is 90 years of saving. And many energy efficient building methods only add a small amount to the cost but a continual savings of at least 30-45%. It is when you shoot for the 90% savings you get to over cost the asset.

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Old 04-27-2010, 09:20 AM   #3
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The "Value Proposition" in Green


My personal view is that if it does not save money, then neither is it environmentally green. A good deal of the cost of products is energy. Does the energy used to produce those expensive energy-saving devices offset the energy saved by using them? If going "green" costs more, am truly saving energy?

Regarding amortization, I generally look for payoff in 5 years or less. I suppose certain items can justify longer payoff periods, but most of my effort is focused in areas that have lifespans much less than that of a house. For those longer term items (insulation, furnace) I might go for longer payoff periods.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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The "Value Proposition" in Green


insulation combined with proper air sealing will yeild a faster and more long term payback. The energy saved is better since the cost of electrical use looses 70% just in the distribution and generation. Most heating systems will have a slightly longer payback. Proper construction is the best solution and is rarely fully addressed.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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The "Value Proposition" in Green


my own cynical 0.02 -

a lot of 'going green' is a by-product of green-washing and social guilt invoked by years of people being beat over the head with global warming and the like. that isn't to say that i am not fully in support of sustainable and environmentally conscious living - just that i personally feel that 90% of what people are saying, buying and doing is a token gesture to make them selves feel good and not actually trying to make the world a better place. my favorite example of all of this comes from when i was in school:

there was a professor in the architecture program that built a sustainable, off the grid, green house. passive solar everything, water reclamation, trombe walls - the works. in order to build this house he had to go to an adjoining county. this move resulted in a 30-45 minute drive each way to get to and from campus. the carbon footprint created by driving every day was bigger than if he had purchased a 100-year-old home near campus and biked to work every day.

the money spent trying to make everyday products 'green' would be much better served investing in infrastructure and education to get people to live locally and understand what sustainable living is (which is similar to but not the same as 'green') and how to actually implement it into their daily lives. as conceptual studies homes like Dennis Weaver's Tire House are great - but they are not immediately practical.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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The "Value Proposition" in Green


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
if you get a return or paypack in 10 years you are doing a lot of value. The house should last at least 100 years. So that is 90 years of saving. And many energy efficient building methods only add a small amount to the cost but a continual savings of at least 30-45%. It is when you shoot for the 90% savings you get to over cost the asset.
I'm with you there but that's new construction. I mean buying expensive light fixtures or other gadgets that will not have a 100 year life span. Hey, my CLF's don't last a year.

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