It's hard to argue with the fact that efficiency improvements for your home are a good investment. In addition to helping you save money on your electricity, heating and cooling expenses, efficiency also helps the environment by reducing your reliance on fossil fuel power.
But some residents trying to sell their homes have found that making such investments won't necessarily raise the value of their house once it hits the market. A recent article in the San Francisco Gate discusses the unfortunate reality that energy efficiency isn't especially high on the list of priorities for buyers.
"It's the icing on the cake," Julie Reber of Zephyr Real Estate tells the source. "We've tried to evaluate if marketing as green brings in buyers or just helps close the deal. It's the latter, unfortunately."
There is an effort at the federal level to create policies that will encourage buyers to seek out efficient homes. The Save Act would allow them to take out large mortgages by requiring banks to consider the money saved on electricity as part of the buyer's income. But it's unclear if this law will have a significant effect. Many listing services provide only limited information on a home's energy efficiency given that those looking for a new home don't tend to focus on the issue much.
It's important to note, however, that energy efficiency is an issue that will eventually affect all homeowners. Over time, fossil fuels will likely go up in cost, raising electricity and gas prices to a point where it is simply common sense to make efficiency improvements.