What Are Benefits of Energy-Efficient Homes?


Homebuyers say energy-efficient features are home “must-haves” because they save money, improve resale value and help people lead healthier lives.

WASHINGTON, Penn. – Consumer efforts to be more eco-conscious are more and more noticeable. For proof of that, one need look no further than the increase in vehicle charging stations. Such stations are more accessible than ever and illustrate that consumer preference is increasingly leaning toward products that leave as small a carbon footprint as possible.

Another indicator of a growing interest in eco-friendly products is the popularity in energy-efficient homes. In fact, a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that energy-efficient features are among the most sought-after “must-haves” among homebuyers. Among those surveyed, 83% desired Energy Star-rated windows, 81% wanted Energy Star-rated appliances and 80% preferred energy-efficient lighting.

“Customers certainly request certain energy efficient measures more than they used to but the energy code as changed as well. After building a custom home, there are tests we do to ensure the home meets the standards,” said Brian Bercik, co-founder of Hemlock Home Building in Washington County.

Though eco-conscious sensibilities compel millions of homeowners to make their homes more energy-efficient, that’s not the only reason to upgrade your home. The following are a handful of the many benefits of energy-efficient homes.

Save money: Inflation was one of the biggest stories of 2022, as the cost of living rose dramatically in the wake of world events. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation led to an overall 6.5% increase in prices. But that increase was dwarfed by the cost of electricity, which increased by 14.3% in 2022. Energy-efficient appliances can help homeowners overcome that spike, as the U.S. Department of Energy indicates upgrading to such products can help homeowners reduce their energy costs by as much as 30%.

Improve resale value: As the NAHB survey indicates, modern homebuyers want energy-efficient homes. They’re also willing to pay more for such homes. Research from the mortgage lender Freddie Mac found that homes with energy-efficient ratings sold for nearly 3% more on average than homes without such ratings.

“Not only are you saving money with those double-paned windows and solar panels for yourself, but when you sell, it increases the value of the home because the buyers will save in the long run,” said John Younkin, owner of Blue Roof Farms in Fayette County. “Along with receiving a 30% credit on your taxes, I think we, the government included, have thought energy efficiency was a good idea for quite some time. “

Live healthier: The benefits of energy-efficient homes aren’t just economic, though health-related benefits certainly produce an economic incentive as well.

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, insulation and air sealing protect individuals from heat waves and other ripple effects of climate change. The ACEEE notes that weatherization can improve indoor air quality and comfort, a notable benefit for asthma sufferers and seniors.

In fact, the ACEEE estimates that integrating energy efficiency programs in homes could reduce seniors’ risk for falls in their homes, potentially saving $2 billion in fall-related health care costs over the next decade, and improve asthma outcomes, which could reduce health care costs by as much as half a billion dollars.

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