Efficiency is among the most-wanted features of new homes. Home buyers and builders are responding to this demand with more energy-efficient features, according to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) surveys.
“Our builder members are telling us that more and more buyers are looking at new homes for their efficiency in design and functionality,” says 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.”
An NAHB survey reveals that Energy Star certifications are a priority for Millennial home buyers, and that 84 percent of this group is willing to pay 2-3 percent 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, the NAHB reports.
Some home buyers are looking for even more sustainable features, prompting an increasing number of single-family and multifamily builders to deliver green homes. Green builders incorporate energy, water and resource efficiency; improved indoor environmental quality; and sustainable and locally sourced products into their projects, according to the NAHB.
An NAHB survey of single-family home builders revealed that nearly 25 percent of builders installed alternative energy-producing equipment such as geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels in new construction. The current 30-percent tax credit available for homeowners who install this equipment is set to expire at the end of 2016.