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Numerous advantages to energy efficiency: but is added value one of them?

Energy efficiency and home value picture for 401(e) blog

Home energy improvements come with numerous benefits: increased comfort, a healthier indoor air, reduced energy bills and a lesser environmental impact.

But what impact do these improvements have on the value of your home? While some benefits are hard to measure (how do you quantify increased comfort?), it increasingly looks like energy efficiency improvements can add to the value of your home.

The largest study conducted so far was done in California (with a 1.6 million houses sample) between 2007 and 2012, and it showed that a green certification on a house adds an average of 9% to its value.

Other, smaller studies have been conducted in the rest of the country, and two of the most recent ones in Portland and Seattle.

In Portland, OR, Earth Advantage Institute has reported that energy efficiency-labeled homes have consistently sold for 30% more than non-labeled homes (in 2010-2011).

In Seattle, WA, they sold for 8.5% more per square foot and stayed on the market 22% less time according to a study by GreenWorks Realty (2007-2009).

While it is still early to make any definite conclusion, those results are compelling, and they tend to show that energy efficiency improvements can add value, sometimes significantly, to your home. These results are encouraging, and we will learn more as new data emerges, as the interest in determining and quantifying the impact of energy efficiency improvements on a home’s value is growing.

Of course, the value added is also a matter of perception – what matters to potential homebuyers in your market? Here in Grand Forks, there is a strong awareness about the benefits of energy efficiency in one’s home, as was shown in a recent study of the housing market in Grand Forks.

importance of EE improvementsAs you can see in this graph, energy efficiency improvements come second in importance, just behind proximity to good schools, with an average rating of 6.7 (9 being the maximum for “very high importance”).


Here at 401(e), we can help you with all your energy efficiency needs and projects. When we do some work on a home, we provide homeowners with a Certificate of Completion, showing the different measures that have been installed. This Certificate of Completion proves that a home has been made more energy efficient and can be shown to potential buyers.

Certificate of Completion