Homeowners prioritize aesthetic improvements over energy saving improvements although they claim otherwise, according to the annual Energy Pulse study. Homebuyers consistently site energy efficiency as a priority as evidenced by an Energy Pulse survey showing 81 percent of respondents rate energy efficiency as an important factor when deciding between two homes. In addition, a National Association of Home Builders study found homeowners are willing to pay 2 to 3 percent more for energy-efficient features, and a University of California, Berkeley study shows green-certified homes command an average 9 percent price premium over traditionally built homes. However, in a recent Energy Pulse survey, 55 percent of survey respondents were very likely to make non-energy efficiency improvements to their homes in the near future and only 12 percent were likely to make energy efficiency improvements. The survey found that homeowners chose remodeling a kitchen or bathroom if they had money for a home improvement project. Window replacement was rated as the second priority, and upgrading the HVAC or furnace was rated third. Respondents with incomes of more than $100,000 a year were 13 percent less likely to prioritize energy efficiency improvements than respondents with salaries under $25,000, who may be more sensitive to the rising cost of utility bills. The survey also found that 44 percent of respondents believe energy-efficient improvements are too expensive. | Read More