Energy auditors and retrofitters know that it’s hard to sell the benefits of energy efficiency to homeowners. But the truth is that energy efficient upgrades save homeowners money, help sell homes quicker, and yield a higher profit when on the real estate market.

Because it’s not always easy to explain industry ratings and scores to homeowners, auditors need to be armed with statistics to help convey their message. I’ve compiled six statistics that show the importance of energy efficient renovations and how I’ve seen them work in the field. Feel free to use them the next time you visit a client.

A note: All certified homes referred to below are defined as those carrying Energy Star or LEED for Homes designations, or Earth Advantage home certifications.

1. Existing homes with certificates from third-party companies for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 30% more than similar houses without certificates, according to a study by the Earth Advantage Institute.

One of our customers tracked their utility usage before and after their improvements and used the numbers as a selling point for their home. They did so by providing interested buyers with a printed copy of a Residential Energy Report that outlines our audit findings.

2. Certified homes spend 18 days less time on the market than non-certified homes, according to a study by the Earth Advantage Institute.

We have worked with homebuilders to consult for new construction homes to get them certified as Energy Star Rated. This helps homeowners by shortening the period of stress that occurs while a house is on the market.

3. 90% of people believe that energy efficiency is important when buying or selling a home, according to a study by the National Association of Home Builders.

While appraisers are not driving demand yet, we feel the local utility rebate programs in Columbia, Missouri for energy efficiency improvements are helping. In the mix of housing stock, we’re finding a wide range of homes that have a need for some efficiency improvements.

4. From the same study, 72% of people say that energy efficient features would sway their decision to purchase a home.

The down economy is causing people to stay in their homes longer than they did a decade ago. Since most people can’t afford to move into a nicer home, we’ve found they are looking for ways to invest money into their current home. Many energy efficiency improvements have a payback of 5 years or less and provide greater comfort to the residents.

5. 61% say that they would be willing to pay $5,000 up front in order to save on utility costs later.

We have noticed that anyone who has had improvements made to their old home are almost guaranteed to have an audit performed on their new home once they move. Energy efficient homes speak very loudly to people that have seen and felt the difference it can make.

- Scott Schnelle

Scott Schnelle is an energy auditor with EnergyLink, a company that helps mid-Missouri homes achieve peak performance through energy efficiency installations.

This blog originally appeared on HomeEnergy.org

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Comment by Home Energy Magazine on April 12, 2012 at 5:23pm

Hi James,

Thanks for commenting and asking. Here are links to both of the studies referenced:

National Association of Home Builders

Earth Advantage Institute

Comment by James H. Bushart on April 11, 2012 at 10:04am

Thanks, Scott.  What are your sources for this data?

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