New homes increasingly offer energy efficiency, sustainable features
During New Homes Month in April, the National Association of Home Builders is showing how new homes increasingly offer the energy-efficient features home buyers seek. Surveys indicate that efficiency is among the most-wanted features of home buyers and that builders are responding to this demand.
“Our builder members are telling us that more and more buyers are looking at new homes for their efficiency in design and functionality,” said NAHB chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “Whether it’s improved insulation or sustainable building materials, today’s new homes can reach higher energy performance and greater durability than was possible even 20 years ago. And programs like the National Green Building Standard help consumers achieve their efficiency needs.”
As more Millennials enter the housing market, they are sharing what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. An NAHB survey revealed that Energy Star certifications are a priority for these home buyers. In fact, 84% of this group is willing to pay 2% to 3% more for an energy-efficient home as long as they can see a return on their power bills.
NAHB also surveyed home builders about the features they are most likely to include in new homes they build this year. Four of the top 10 features focused on energy efficiency: low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances and windows, and programmable thermostats.
Some home buyers are looking for even more sustainable features, prompting an increasing number of single-family and multifamily builders to deliver green homes. Builders using green building technology incorporate energy, water and resource efficiency; improved indoor environmental quality; and sustainable and locally sourced products into their projects.
An NAHB survey of single-family home builders revealed that nearly 25% of builders installed alternative energy-producing equipment in new construction. This includes geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels. The current 30% tax credit available for homeowners who install this equipment is set to expire at the end of 2016, which makes this a good time for interested buyers to consider purchases.
Home buyers can access home buying and home building information and resources at nahb.org/forconsumers.