While current market conditions have made home buyers more conscious of price these days, studies show that consumers are more interested in green building features. A study by the nonprofit Earth Advantage Institute of Portland, Ore., looked at local sales data from May 2010 to April 2011 and determined that green-certified new homes sold for an average premium of 8 percent compared to non-certified ones; the premium topped 23 percent in one of the six counties analyzed. With regard to existing dwellings, green-certified units sold for 30 percent more on average, and the premium surpassed 61 percent in one county. Josh Wynne — a green builder based in Sarasota, Fla. — says green certification should not be used solely to boost profits, insisting that green components cannot be sold like granite counters and other upgrades. Other experts say energy savings are the primary benefit. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of California looks at 72,000 home sales in California from 2000 to 2009, with photovoltaic energy systems involved in about 2,000 of these sales. The study indicates that new homes with the systems sold for a premium of as much as $2.60 per watt generated by the systems; the premium was $6 per watt for existing homes. However, prices in some markets have been impacted by the fact that appraisers often undervalue green features, and national home price declines have not helped matters. | Read More