From the latest data of the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, 46% of American renters spent at least 30% of their income on housing –  23% of which spent more than 50% of their total revenue

When you’re looking to add an extra unit to your property – whether for rental income, a home office, or simply additional living space – it’s essential to be mindful of this number. By keeping your ADU cost-effective, you can ensure that it will be a valuable addition to your property for years to come.

Here are a few simple tips to help you do just that. 

1. Use Energy-Star Rated Appliances

With so many choices in the market, it can be challenging to know which ones are genuinely energy-efficient. For us, one solid indicator is that it features an energy-star certification. Because to be able to produce an appliance with such a rating, it has to be high performing, functional, and uses significantly less energy than other standard products. 

For example, the Energy Star website states that refrigerators must be 15% more efficient than the minimum federal standard. While televisions must only use 3 watts or less when turned off, any certified tech equipment or appliance should have a low-power “sleep” mode that goes into an energy-saving state after not being used for a while.

Energy Star-certified appliances were also proven to save you a lot on utility bills. The US Department of Energy states that they can reduce energy usage from 10% to 50%.

2. Maximize Natural Light

One of the simplest ways to reduce energy consumption is to take advantage of natural lighting. Aside from opening up your curtains and blinds – letting the sunshine in, it’s also important to note that your ADU must have considerably large windows. You may be surprised at how much light you can get simply by taking advantage of this design element. 

All the models in ADU.Works’ Maverick Series features windows strategically placed on every side of the unit. This allows the models to have a superior energy-saving design by combining the benefits of natural lighting and its open floor plan.

Not only will this help to reduce your energy bills, but it will also give you a boost of vitamin D. In addition, you can take steps to maximize the amount of natural light in your home by adding skylights or reflective surfaces. Using natural lighting, you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Invest in Solar Panels

Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your energy bill. These panels convert sunlight into electricity which is used to power your home. They are a long-term investment that will continue to generate electricity for your ADU for many years. 

Though most new-generation panels work well with most weather, they operate the best when they get direct sunlight. That’s why they produce the most electricity during the hottest part of the day. In addition, because most people usually use less electricity during that time, the extra power produced by these panels will be cycled back to the grid and show up as a credit on your bills. 

Furthermore, these panels require very little maintenance and do not produce any emissions, making them a low-maintenance and environmentally-friendly option for producing energy.


If you’re planning to add an ADU to your property, our Maverick ADU Series was designed with all these three ideas in mind. Our team was determined to find innovative ways to bring out the most value to our customers. 

If you want to see our models physically, please don’t hesitate to book a free showroom visit or give us a quick call through our number +1 (650) 227-4810. We would be happy to help you get started on this exciting project!

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