Energy-Efficiency Ranks Highest in New Home Features

A recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders found that energy efficiency has become one of the most sought after home features. One group in particular̶millennials̶ would pay up to three percent more for an energy-efficient home that could lower their utility bills.
New and Improved
With improved insulation and sustainable building materials, new homes cost less to run and are more durable than homes built even 20 years ago. Many energy-efficient new homes also come with the National Green Building Standard certification, which gives buyers independent, third-party verification that a home will meet their efficiency needs.
Builders Rise to the Occasion
The NAHB survey polled builders to see which features they will be incorporating into their new homes over the coming year. Of the top 10 features, four focused on energy efficiency̶ low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, Energy Star-rated windows, and programmable thermostats. What’s more, more single-family and multifamily builders are using sustainable and locally-sourced products in their new construction. They are also taking steps to improve indoor environmental quality and conserve energy and resources.
Off the Grid
The most environmentally-friendly home would produce all of its own power, through technology like geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels. Of all the builders surveyed, 25 percent had installed alternative energy-producing equipment in their projects. In years past, the cost of this equipment was prohibitive to all but high-end buyers. But with a 30 percent tax credit for homeowners who invest in solar panels and heat pumps, builders can afford to install green energy-producing equipment and still make a profit. The tax credit expires at the end of 2016, however, making the next two years the ideal time for both builders and buyers to go green.