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June 2013

Green Preference Survey: consumers think they live green

NWREporter June 2013

Consumers believe they are educated on the value of energy-efficient home attributes and most who responded to a recent survey think they already live a green life. They also expressed confidence that green homes have enhanced value.

Researchers who conducted a Consumer Green Preferences Survey for Green Builder Media concluded consumers understand the value of energy efficiency and green upgrades, and not just because "there's something in it for them."

The survey was designed to understand sustainable lifestyle preferences, attitudes, behaviors, and purchasing patterns of active, healthy adults aged 35-55.

Among key findings:

  • Eight of 10 respondents (84.3 percent) have a positive association with the term "green" and want to be known for having a green life.
  • Six of 10 respondents (59.6 percent) think they already live a green life.
  • Two-thirds of respondents (66.5 percent) say they have become more environmentally conscious over the past two years, particularly when it comes to products and systems for their homes.
  • Of those who don't think they are green enough yet, 90.4 percent of this segment report they would like to live a greener life.
  • Two-thirds of respondents (66.5 percent) say they don't incorporate more sustainable ideas into their life because green products/systems are too expensive.
  • A preponderance of those polled -- 85 percent -- thought highlighting the energy efficiency features of their homes would help their house sell faster, and 86.7 percent thought showcasing the durability of the products in their home would have a positive impact on the sale of their home. Nearly all respondents (93.5 percent) think the green features of homes should be listed on the REALTOR MLS.

Consumers also exhibited keen awareness of which upgrades would help the planet while saving them money. When asked how they would spend $5,000 on their house, upgraded windows, insulation, and HVAC topped the list.

Upon analyzing the findings, the survey sponsors concluded, "These engaged and information-hungry consumers represent a prime market opportunity for manufacturers, building professionals, and environmental advocates to provide innovative solutions for improving quality of life, enhancing the health and safety of our housing stock, saving money through energy efficiency, increasing home values, reducing pollution, and mitigating environmental damage."

Survey analysts also noted the findings dispel claims that people will only go green if there is something in it for them.  When asked what is top of mind when it comes to green living, nearly four of every 10 respondents (38.9 percent) ranked "energy efficiency" as their first thought, followed closely by 30.8 percent of respondents who indicated that "leaving the world a better place for children/grandchildren/future generations" as their top concern.

Green Builder Media claims to be thought leaders and building science experts in the building industry. Based in Eastsound, Wash., the company and its New York-based magazine focus on on green building and sustainable living and responsible growth. The company assists building professionals and homeowners thrive in the emerging green economy through its suite of print media, online options, demonstration homes, case studies, training and education vehicles, and live events.