Energy efficiency is on many buyers’ minds when they shop for new-home construction, according to a consumer survey from the National Association of Home Buyers. The NAHB surveyed more than 3,000 home buyers—both recent and prospective—on the features they most desire in their new home.
Many buyers said they’d go with the more sustainable option, such as the use of more durable materials in their home, when presented the option.
When the cost savings of these features are pointed out, they may be even more tempted—and they say they are willing to pay up front to help lower their utility bills. On average, buyers would pay up to $9,292 more for a home in order to save $1,000 annually on utility costs, according to the NAHB’s study.
“We’re doing a lot more in our homes now,” Brandon Bryant, founder of Red Tree Builders, a green home building company in Asheville, N.C., said during February’s virtual 2021 International Builders’ Show. But he added education is key. “We’ve got to teach people how to live in green homes, how these homes operate, and even before we build to let them know what we could do because a lot of times we could do so much more for their life.”
The top eco-friendly components and designs consumers said they desired:
Energy Star–rated windows and appliances
Efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional bulbs
Energy Star rating for the whole house
Other trending features center around health and wellness, such as zone heating, purified air appliances (like UVC fans), indoor air quality sensors, and connections to the outdoors, the NAHB said.
"There are a wide range of green features that buyers feel are desirable," said Paul Emrath, vice president of surveys and housing policy research at the NAHB. "Energy efficiency, though, tops the list of what they most want."