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What are the most popular green features today?

By: Kelly Leighton on in

Saving energy is what most buyers associate with a green home.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, both energy efficiency and air quality are key for the majority of homebuyers who want green features. What are they looking for? Insulation that is higher than required, efficient lighting that uses less energy and appliances rated ENERGY STAR are the top features desired by those looking to go green.

“It’s confirmation that the most attractive green features for homebuyers are those that help them save money on energy costs, as well as those that improve the air quality inside their homes,” stated Rose Quint, AVP of survey research at NAHB, in a press release.

Not surprisingly, most consumers are also interested in the possible savings these green features can provide. To save $1,000 on utility bills each year, close to half of buyers said they would invest between $1,000 and $9,999. More than one-third would spend closer to $10,000 for those savings.

Beyond savings, most respondents would still opt for the greener feature. Nearly three quarters said they would rather have features and finishes made of more expensive materials that last longer, compared to the 26 percent who would prefer them to be less expensive materials that need to be replaced more often. Outside, 65 percent want low-maintenance landscaping, while 35 percent opt for a traditional look.

While most green features are coveted by buyers, there are a few that don’t appeal to the majority. The least popular green feature is a roof that is completely or partially covered by plants.

Pay More for Energy Efficiency? Buyers Say Yes

“There are a wide range of green features that buyers feel are desirable,” noted Paul Emrath, Ph.D., VP of surveys and housing policy research at National Association of Home Builders. “Energy efficiency, though, tops the list of what they most want.”

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