Friday, December 9, 2011

NCEEA Study Finds Statistical Evidence for Market Advantages of ENERGY STAR Homes

ENERGY STAR Homes sell faster and at a higher price per square foot compared to conventional homes, according to a study by the North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance (NCEEA).  The study analyzed data for new homes built in 2010 in a five-county area around the Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina. The study showed that the ENERGY STAR label brings significant added value to homes beyond the well-known 15-30% savings on monthly utility bills.
The study compared ENERGY STAR homes to similar code-built homes. Appraisal values were provided by a third-party NC licensed appraiser.
ENERGY STAR Homes are a more profitable investment, selling for $2.99 more per square foot and up to 89 days faster than conventional homes. 
This provides important evidence for appraisers, home buyers, and sellers because until this study market data to compare these transactions has not been available. Now appraisers have market confirming support that shows added value in homes with energy efficient features and certifications.

At a time when the nation and state is struggling with a stagnant housing market and energy issues, these findings may encourage state legislators to support changes in the way appraisers and lending institutions calculate the value of energy efficiency in mortgage underwriting.
In addition, these new findings may help builders be more assured that their investment in energy efficiency is recoverable and more profitable. Lenders can have confidence that the collateral against the loan is valued properly. Additionally, these findings will give home sellers, particularly real estate agents, good reason to endorse and promote ENERGY STAR Homes because they sell faster and at a higher price point.
Consumers have the most to benefit when purchasing an ENERGY STAR Home. Lower monthly operating costs, mortgage incentives, utility rebates, and a higher quality home that is healthier for both the occupants and the environment.
While an ENERGY STAR qualification adds some additional upfront cost to the home, the financial savings for the builder and homeowner far exceed this initial investment. ENERGY STAR Homes require third-party verification system to assure buyers they are getting a more comfortable home with lower operating costs due to better insulation, advanced framing, air sealing, high performance windows, and more efficient lighting and appliances that meet the ENERGY STAR program requirements. As the study shows, the additional investment in ENERGY STAR qualification is recoverable and even profitable.
The executive summary from this study can be found here and the full report here on the NCEEA website. The North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance is a statewide organization housed in Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. The goal of the NCEEA is to strengthen the home building industry and raise awareness about the benefits of energy efficient homes. This effort was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the State of North Carolina’s State Energy Program.  To become a member and learn more about the Alliance, visit and


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