Energy Efficiency Drives Green Home Sales
Consumers are very interested in improving the energy efficiency in their homes. For energy providers, the challenge has been costs, which are higher than traditional materials, but progress seems to being made in convincing customers to invest in these systems.
Energy efficiency is the leading reason why consumers adopt green buildings, according to a Dodge Data & Analytics survey of more than 1,100 home builders. The survey found that 91% of home builders use energy-efficient approaches, and over two thirds (69 percent) do so on the majority of their projects.
Energy efficiency takes many forms. Highly efficient HVAC systems enable consumers to reduce their monthly heating energy costs. With LED and smart lighting, they require less energy to produce light at night. The move to smart homes is giving rise to the more efficient and right sized appliances. All of these changes lower energy usage and enable utilities to more quickly and accurately respond to consumer needs.
The Cost Conundrum
Energy efficient systems do have downsides, with increased costs a major consideration. A majority of builders/remodelers believe that their customers see green homes as costing more, however, 70% of single-family home builders think that their customers will pay more for a green home.
Why take on the added expense? Consumers view these homes as delivering benefits to them over the long term. They expect more increased operating efficiency and lower energy usage will save them money during the life of the building
In fact, over 80% of single-family builders and remodelers believe that the lower operating costs of a green home provide more value to the home owner than the initial premium. Over half also think that owners gain value from the greater comfort and better occupant experience that a green home provides.
The Impact of Smart Homes
The advent of smart home technology is also moving the energy efficiency needle. Smart home technology is becoming popular, and a main reason is it improves energy management .The percentage of builders and remodelers using this technology for energy management on at least some of their projects is high: 82% of green builders and 60% of those less engaged in green reporting use. Almost half (43%) of green builders incorporate this technology into 50% or more of their projects, and well over one quarter (29%) of those with low/no green engagement report the same.
So, what do the results mean to energy providers? Many have struggled to build energy efficiency business cases because their costs have been higher than alternatives. Perhaps, the tide is turning and consumers are now more willing to invest in such devices?