Energy Wiseguy

Willie Delfs
Energy Wiseguy Willie Delfs of Able Home Builders

Dear fellow Energy Wise Enthusiasts,
I hope that the content has value to you either as a builder or consumer.  Additionally, I hope that it can help you with your bottom line.  I value your input regarding any of the subjects that I address.  If there is something that you would like highlighted, I would be happy to research and report the subject.  This column will always be a work in progress.  You may contact me at
Your Energy Wise Guy…..Willie

Are Home Owners Buying “Green” to Save Green?

Incorporating eco-friendly products and designs into your home is not only good for the environment, it can be helpful for your wallet, too. A sustainable home can reap cost savings in the long run. If home owners could save $1,000 each year on their total utility costs, how much more would they be willing to pay up front to purchase their next home?

According to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), home buyers, on average, are willing to spend an extra $8,728 to save $1,000 a year on their utility bills.  An investment of that size would essentially pay for itself within eight years—the maximum amount of payback time for energy-saving measures to still be considered “cost effective,” as defined by industry experts at NAHB.

In addition to the reduction in utility bills, the survey also asked buyers how much extra they would pay for a home with various types of green certifications, such as ENERGY STAR and LEED for homes, a voluntary rating of green homes. More than half (52 percent) are willing to pay at least $1,000 to certify that the home is energy efficient. Fewer than half are willing to pay at least $1,000 to certify that the home is water efficient (43 percent) or certify the home for indoor air quality (41 percent).

NAHB’s home buyer preferences survey also asked consumers to rank green features according to desirability. Some of the items included:

ENERGY STAR Features – Eighty-nine percent of respondents specifically ranked ENERGY STAR windows as either desirable or essential. ENERGY STAR rated appliances (86 percent) and an ENERGY STAR rating for whole home (81 percent) also topped the list.

Energy Conservation – The next three most-wanted green features were efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional bulbs, windows with triple-pane insulating glass (each rated essential or desirable by 77 percent of buyers) and insulation higher than required by code (73 percent).

Green Features – Next comes a group of three green features clustered relatively close together: water-conserving toilets (63 percent), windows with low-e insulating glass (62 percent) and a tankless water heater (61 percent).

To learn more about the latest green products and building techniques available to you, or to find someone to help with your “green” questions, visit

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