Over the last several decades, Chattanooga has earned a reputation for being a planet-friendly community. But did you know that incorporating ecofriendly products and designs into a home is not only good for the environment, it can be helpful for your wallet, too?
A recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders shows homebuyers are willing to spend an extra $8,728 to save $1,000 a year on their utility bills. An investment of that size would pay for itself within eight years – the maximum amount of payback time for energy-saving measures to still be considered cost effective, according to industry experts at NAHB.
In addition to the reduction in utility bills, the survey also asked buyers how much extra they would pay for a home with various types of green certifications, such as Energy Star and LEED.
More than half (52%) are willing to pay at least $1,000 to certify that the home is energy efficient. Fewer than half are willing to pay at least $1,000 to certify that the home is water efficient (43%) or certify the home for indoor air quality (41%).
NAHB’s homebuyer preferences survey also asked consumers to rank green features according to desirability. Some of the items included:
Energy Star features
Eighty-nine percent of respondents ranked Energy Star windows as either desirable or essential. Energy Star rated appliances (86%) and an Energy Star rating for whole home (81%) also topped the list.
The next three most-wanted green features were efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional bulbs (77%), windows with triple-pane insulating glass (77%) and insulation higher than required by code (73%).
Next comes a group of three green features clustered close together: water-conserving toilets (63%), windows with low-e insulating glass (62%) and a tankless water heater (61%).
To hire a homebuilder or remodeler to help you find the green in your home design, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at www.HBAGC.net.