How Much ‘Green’ Is It Worth?

Tim King, President

North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)

Helping the environment is a great thing to do, but if you can save money in the process, it is even better. Sustainable features in your home can lead to significant savings over time. If you could save $1,000 each year on your total utility costs, how much more would you be willing to pay upfront to purchase your next home?

According to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), home buyers are, on average, willing to spend an extra $12,314 to save $1,000 a year on their utility bills. An investment of that size would essentially pay for itself in approximately 12 years. 

Additionally, although only 18% of home buyers are willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly home, that number increased by three percentage points from 2020 to 2023 and represents an all-time high by a single percentage point. The previous high was 17%, recorded in 2003 and 2007.

NAHB’s home buyer preferences survey also asked buyers to rank thirty green features according to desirability. The most wanted green features were related to the following: 

  • Energy Efficiency – ENERGY STAR products ranked high on the list of popular green features. The ENERGY STAR program has been around since 1992 and has spurred the development of countless energy- and cost-saving home appliances. The three most popular green features all involve ENERGY STAR ratings: ENERGY STAR rated windows (83%), appliances (80%) and an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home (78%). 
  • Energy Conservation – In addition to ENERGY STAR rated features, the next two most-wanted green features are windows with triple pane insulating glass (77%), efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional bulbs (74%) and insulation higher than required by code (72%).
  • Water Conservation Home buyers also expressed interest in green features that can improve water efficiency and decrease water usage. A majority (64%) of buyers wanted water-conserving toilets. According to, toilets can account for almost a third of an average home’s indoor water consumption. Other water conservation features that topped the list were a tankless water heater (65%), bathroom faucets (63%) and shower heads (also 63%). 

To learn more about the latest green products and building techniques from home builders in our community, contact the NCBIA.

Our 24/7 Virtual Parade of Homes!!!  Allows you to look at some of our builders’ new homes and communities on your mobile device or computer at your leisure. You can also see our remodelers as well. We know time is our greatest asset and via our NCBIA Virtual Parade of Homes, we save you time looking for a new home or a community that fits your lifestyle.

We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic. So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab). 


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