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08/30/2014
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Energy-efficient homes sell at higher prices

Posted on May 2, 2013 Category: Energy-Efficiency Articles

When homeowners put their houses on the market, the sellers want to ensure they can earn the top price. Real estate agents recommend various tactics like staging a home and refurbishing certain rooms, but these tactics don't always help achieve the desired result. Recent research suggests that making a home eco-friendly can actually drive the price upward. 

The Washington Post reports that green houses add 9 percent to selling prices. The research was conducted by Matthew E. Kahn, an economics professor at UCLA, and Nils Kok, a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. The team studied the prices of 1.6 million residential properties sold in California between 2007 and 2012. The researchers attributed the increase in prices due to the popularity of the green movement in certain areas. Kahn and Kok called the phenomenon "the Prius effect," referring to the popularity of energy-efficient cars in the Golden State. The researchers theorize that residents of some states are willing to pay premium prices for eco-friendly products, services and properties. 

To capitalize on these findings, homeowners must find ways to make their houses energy efficient. Large renovation projects like installing solar panels can be beneficial, but might not be the ideal solution for many people. The construction is expensive and might not be financially feasible for many owners. 

Fortunately, upgrading lights to LED lighting is a cost-effective alternative to bigger projects. The sustainable lights can turn any house into a green building by reducing energy consumption. ENERGY STAR reports that the eco-friendly lights use 75 percent less energy than incandescent options while lasting longer. Ultimately, LED technology can make a house more attractive to potential buyers so sellers can increase their asking prices.