Energy Efficient Homes Fetch Higher Resale Values

Despite rebates and grants, home energy efficiency improvements can be costly. Then there’s that nagging homeowner worry: Will this solar installation/water conservation technology/energy efficient appliance raise the value of my home? It might be great for the environment, but is there anything in it for me beyond reduced utility costs?

A piece appearing in the LA Times suggests a tentative “yes” – according to studies in California, Oregon and Washington.

In Portland, homes certified for energy efficiency and sustainability fetched higher sales prices, even during the past year when home sales were down. That’s according to the Earth Advantage Institute.

Newly constructed homes with third-party certifications sold for 8 percent more on average than non-certified homes in the Portland metropolitan area. Existing houses with certifications sold for a whopping 30 percent more.

Earth Advantage also says homes marketed with energy-efficiency certifications appear to sell faster on average than those without.

The next step? Getting banks to recognize the added value. That’s according to Kevin Morrow, senior program manager for Green Building at the National Association of Home Builders.

Bank underwriters often do not include reduced monthly utility costs in the income/expense ratios that affect the maximum mortgage amounts available to buyers.

Says Morrow: "The case needs to be made, that, hey, these houses will cost less to operate, so they should be worth more."

Photo credit: Jeneyepher