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How On-Demand Pumps in New Residential Construction Can Pay for Themselves Via the New Home’s Mortgage

Posted by David Grieshop on August 08, 2016
How On-Demand Pumps in New Residential Construction Can Pay for Themselves Via the New Home’s Mortgage
A D'Mand Kontrols under sink on demand pump.

Is it fair to say, “We take residential plumbing for granted? Do we use our plumbing system on a daily basis more than we do our stove or refrigerator?”

I think yes.

During the past 6-7 years, I have investigated on-demand pumps (IAPMO certified). I gathered large amounts of wasted water, energy and time data—with these pumps installed (and without) from homeowners all over the USA. I have written extensively on the benefits of these pumps.

It finally dawned on me to consider how the water and energy savings from on-demand pumps might be used in new residential construction financing.

Please don’t misunderstand—the mortgage industry, in general, is not tuned into accounting for the benefits of these pumps and the incremental financing concept outlined below. Comment: what bothers me is why the VA and/or FHA (VA / FHA, as mortgage insurers) and EPA WaterSense office have not teamed up to investigate the synergies possible to reduce net monthly mortgage costs while saving water, energy and time for new homeowners. Reduced homeowner cost of living and water/energy conservation can go hand in hand.

About a year ago I began to build a model for examining the incremental mortgage costs for installing on-demand pumps in new residential construction; using electricity, natural gas or propane for hot water heating, for both15-year and 30-year fixed mortgages. The developer, builder, or plumber provides specific information about the new home as well about 20 locale-specific data inputs for that new home. (National default values are provided for these inputs and are periodically updated.)

Model outputs range from the annual savings of wasted water, energy and time while waiting for hot water - quite impressive. The net annual savings due to the on-demand pump installation, after accounting for the incremental mortgage cost for the pump and installation, are also provided. Keep in mind, there are many uncertainties (that is, living patterns of the home’s occupants) involved that any outputs (and inputs) are certainly not precise—but are useful for decision-making nevertheless.

Bill Henry, owner of HenryDesignBuild, a southeastern Arizona builder, is using this model for discussions with his clients. (Among his impressive portfolio of homes built is a LEED platinum home that was featured in the Wall Street Journal during May 2013.) His clients have been pleasantly surprised and appreciative when gaining insights into these plumbing systems with no increase in monthly mortgage costs. His clients get “their cake and eat it, too.”

If this is of interest to you, send an email to hot.water.data@gmail.com. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (604-531 BCE) said, “A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a first step.” You take the first step to open a dialogue and we can journey together to save your client money, time, energy and water.

Dave Grieshop is Managing Partner at Reality LLC and a frequent Home Energy contributor.

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