Buyers’ Search for Energy Efficiency

Over the past year, buyers have been searching for properties with more indoor and outdoor living space, private home offices, and plenty of storage. 

In addition to more space, a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that buyers are also looking for energy efficiency when looking at new homes.

Top Energy Efficient Features for Buyers

The report surveyed 3,000 homebuyers and was presented during NAHB’s 2021 International Builders’ Show. As buyers search for homes, they are keeping an eye out for eco-friendly design and green features. 

The top three energy-efficient features buyers look for are:

  1. Energy Star rated windows and appliances.
  2. Efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional light bulbs.
  3. Energy Star rating for the whole house.

Willing to Pay

Since energy-efficient features often result in lower utility costs, buyers consider this when buying a new home. If green features will save homeowners money toward utility bills every month, buyers surveyed said they are willing to spend more money upfront.

On average, buyers said they would pay over $9,000 more upfront for a home if it would lower annual utility costs by $1,000. Buyers are also willing to spend more than $2,000 upfront for a home certified above-code for health and wellness, which includes features such as zone heating and indoor air quality. 

Homeowner Education

It’s not enough to just start installing green features into new homes. Homeowners must also know and understand how the features work. Part of regular home maintenance is ensuring that the green features are serviced and properly working. In addition, homeowners need to know how to use green features to their full potential to gain all the benefits. 

Brandon Bryan, the founder of Red Tree Builders, stated,

“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.” 

What green features are important to have in your home? 

Solar Roof Panels vs. Solar Shingles

As solar roof technology becomes more advanced, homeowners have more options when making the switch to solar energy. 

Solar roofs are enticing because they harness the sun’s solar energy to generate electricity for the home, potentially saving money and energy. While solar panels have become a common sight in neighborhoods across the country, solar shingles are also becoming more mainstream. 

What is the better option for your home? Below, we compare solar panels and shingles to help with the decision. 

Solar Roof Panels

Solar panels are large panels that are installed on top of the shingles on the roof. Several panels are installed on the roof, generating electricity that can be used by the household. 

Pros of Solar Roof Panels

  • Solar panels maximize electricity production. 
  • Solar panels can be angled to gather sunlight. Some types of panels can swivel and adjust throughout the day.
  • Solar panels can be placed on your property, as well as the roof.  
  • You can have the panels removed and bring them with you to a new house.

Cons of Solar Roof Panels

  • Panels appear bulky. 
  • The installation of solar panels involves many steps and requires electrical inspections.

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are a more recent technology than solar panels and are designed to look to typical roof shingles. Solar shingles have two functions: to protect the roof and to generate electricity. 

Pros of Solar Shingles

  • Solar singles are more aesthetically appealing, blending in with other shingles of the roof. 
  • Solar shingles can double as shingles, so if replacing the entire roof, it can be cost-effective.
  • Solar shingles are easier to install than panels. 

Cons of Solar Shingles

  • Solar shingles are less energy efficient than solar panels.
  • The roof needs a particular slope with ample sunlight exposure.
  • The lifespan of solar shingles is less than panels. 
  • Removing solar shingles is not an option because they serve as the roof shingles.

Solar energy can save money and energy over time. When making the switch to solar energy, always consult a professional to determine what your options are. 

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