What’s your definition of luxury living? If you’re like most people, it probably includes having a spacious home with lots of room to relax, spread out and live your dreams. And, that spacious home probably includes some premium fixtures and comfort features, like high-end appliances, customizable climate control systems, expansive windows that bring the outdoors inside, and highly sought-after materials that add sleek, sophisticated finishes to every surface.

But all of those desirable, luxurious features can come at a steep price. And, if you’re not careful, your luxury home can end up being something that is highly detrimental to the environment. But more and more often, today’s luxury homes are becoming shining examples of how you can live luxuriously, while also maintaining responsible, sustainable environmental stewardship.

One example is with solar energy. The rooftops on many large luxury homes are ideal for harvesting the clean, renewable benefits of solar energy. A larger rooftop affords more area for solar panels to be positioned with greater spacing away from trees that would otherwise block sunshine from a smaller rooftop. So more roof equals more room for solar panels. And with Oregon’s Residential Energy Tax Credits program still in effect through the end of 2017, homeowners who convert or augment their power supply with solar can receive significant tax credits.

Another example is a home’s windows and doors, which can also play an important role in energy conservation. With larger luxury homes, there are more windows, and larger windows, than in an average home. These large windows usually create the perfect conditions for lots of energy to be wasted. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Upgrading a home with Energy Star® qualified high-efficiency windows can eliminate cold drafts and moisture condensation, save on heating and cooling energy, and improve your comfort year-round. The energy savings you’ll enjoy will be noticeable right away, and with Energy Trust of Oregon offering generous cash incentives for qualifying window purchases, upgrading is a sound investment.

And then there are luxury appliances. Fortunately, today’s state-of-the-art appliances are universally more energy efficient than those sold just a decade ago. But if your home needs new appliances, it pays to look for those that are high-efficiency and premium-efficiency rated. You’ll save energy, and in many cases also qualify for cash incentives from Energy Trust.

There are many other ways to make your dream home an environmentally friendly home, and the Energy Trust of Oregon website offers lots of tips and guides for rebates, incentives and discounts – for homeowners in both Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Some of the easiest ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency are: using LED light bulbs, which are up to 85% more efficient and last at least 15 times longer than traditional bulbs; installing smart thermostats that automatically regulate heating and cooling, and sense when you’re away to reduce wasted energy; and ordering Energy Trust’s energy saver kits, which are offered free of charge.

When it comes to luxury living, finding the right home for you requires a Realtor® who has luxury expertise. Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help buyers relocating to the Portland-Vancouver area learn more about the market, and select just the right city or community for their new home.  Call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email or visit