Energy Star homes sell better

A Vance County news blog reported in December that Energy Star homes sell faster and at a higher price per square foot compared to conventional homes. The story by Phil Hart in the blog Home in Henderson cited 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. The study showed that the Energy Star label brings significant added value to homes beyond the 15 to 30 percent savings on monthly utility bills.

The study compared Energy Star homes to similar code-built homes. Appraisal values were provided by a third-party N.C. licensed appraiser.  Energy Star sold for $2.99 more per square foot and up to 89 days faster than conventional homes.

An Energy Star qualification does add upfront cost to a home, but savings for the builder and homeowner seem to exceed the initial investment. Energy Star homes require third-party verification 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.

The executive summary from this study, as well as the full report, can be found on the website www.ncenergystar.org.  The North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance is a statewide organization based at Appalachian State University in Boone.

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