Welcome Winter: 3 Eco-Friendly Home Renovation Ideas to Lower Utility Bills

By Scott Murfey,

Murfey Construction

Have you thought about your utility bill lately? You might now that winter is here.

Even though we live in perpetually sunny San Diego, cooler weather is still a part of our climate come winter. While we don’t have to brave snowstorms, ice or other harsh winter conditions, we must still warm our homes when the cooler months roll in.

The average utility bill is about $2,200 annually according EnergyStar but going green can save homeowners thousands of dollars even here in San Diego. And when it comes to resale value, energy efficient homes commonly see higher pricing which is a big winner when it comes to increasing potential equity in your home.

Here are our top picks for renovations that lead to a more eco-friendly – and money-saving – home.


You’ve most likely heard of it, but you probably didn’t realize that most any home can be equipped with solar power energy.

Right now, there’s never been a better time to go green, save money and make your home an efficienct powerhouse than with solar-powered energy. There are many benefits to going green with solar panels.

First, it goes without saying that future energy bills are eliminated. But in addition to eliminating utility bills, homeowners also have the potential to earn credit – and literally get money back – by “net metering” agreements with utility providers. When excess, unused energy is produced from your solar panels, utility companies give you credit and/or money for it. That’s a surefire winner for any household.

Going green with solar panels also benefits our environment and reduces a household’s carbon footprint. When families use solar power, the use of dirty, polluting coal is eliminated. Solar energy helps protect our planet for future generations and reduces dependency on unclean energy sources – and that’s another win for us all.

To estimate your energy consumption and the cost of installing solar panels,

click here.


Dual-pane windows are one of the most solid ways to reduce energy bills while creating a more eco-friendly home. Plus, dual-pane windows provide many ancillary benefits as well such as increased safety and home value.

The primary difference between an old window and a dual-pane window is the double layer of glass and the insulation between both panes. Generally, argon gas fills the space between both panes, delivering superior insulation benefits. This seemingly small difference is huge when it comes to the efficiency of your home.

When homeowners convert to dual-pane windows, many see a near 50 percent savings in utility bills according to an



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  1. That’s because new windows preserve heat in the winter and repel it in the summer, leading to lower energy consumption. Optional UV coating can also protect valuables inside your home such as furniture and artwork from fading in the sun’s glare. Plus, when it comes to safety, dual-pane windows are more resistant to breaking. Safety film can entirely prevent shattering which is ideal when it comes to protection against burglary or natural disasters.


Upgrading insulation leads to a more comfortable home. It protects your home against the sun in the summer and against cooler temperatures in the winter. With better insulation, you home is well- guarded against the elements and less dependent of usage of energy to cool or heat your home.

Here in San Diego, it’s precisely insulation that can create a comfortable home year-round without having to use very much energy at all. Because we enjoy little fluctuation in our seasonal temperatures – but still enough to use air conditioners or heaters – the use of insulation can be just the ticket in keeping your home comfortable without the use of energy. It saves money in the long-run, increases resale value and reduces dependence on traditional heating and cooling methods.

Murfey Construction is a leader in eco-friendly home renovations in La Jolla. For more information on our company, log onto