Agents, home buyers want greener homes, according to the Realtors and Sustainability Report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). In this report, 69% of potential homebuyers consider sustainability either “very” or “somewhat” important.

Agents, we encourage you to get up to speed on lending options for energy upgrades and solar installations, the valuation of solar panels, and improving energy efficiency in existing housing stock. Your clients and potential clients will appreciate your being informed and proactive about home sustainability issues and concerns. Additionally, we encourage you to promote energy efficiency tools/amenities in your listings

Thanks to Curbed and its 101 Ways to Go Green. In this piece, we are focusing just on Curbed’s tips concerning making homes more green.

  1. Add solar panels to your roof – Solar panels are now experiencing record sales and plunging prices. Analysts expect the solar panel market to triple by 2020.
  2. Get a home energy audit. Doing so could save homeowners between 5-30% on your energy bills.
  3. Change to LEED light bulbs. LEED light bulbs could save up to 75% of your energy usage.
  4. Find out about buying clean electricity. When and where possible, opt in for green pricing.
  5. Clean and/or replace your HVAC filters every 3 months. Dirty HVAC filters require your heating/cooling systems to work overtime.
  6. Get a programmable thermostat. During the winter, set the temperature 2 degrees lower and in the summer, set the temperature 2 degrees higher.
  7. Wash your clothes in cold water. There is little if any difference in “clean” and cold water will reduce your total energy use by some 75%.
  8. Up-cycle your furniture. Repurpose your furniture or look for recycled materials. Also consider buying furniture that uses sustainably harvested wood…look for the Forest Stewardship Council logo.
  9. Recycle your clothes. Some companies, such as Patagonia, will buy back their clothes and reuse/recycle them.
  10. Buy and/or replace appliances that are Energy Star Certified.
  11. Design your workspace around natural light.
  12. Unplug electronic devices when you’re not using them.   One quarter of residential energy consumption is used on devices in idle power modes.
  13. Consciously try not to waste a drop of water. Invest in rain barrels to capture water and create rain gardens. Build a “downspout” planter box to capture rainwater.
  14. Insulate with weather stripping, caulking, etc. This will save you 25% in energy costs.
  15. Help eliminate unneeded, unnecessary purchases. Pretend that you have to move every 6 months…do you really want to move everything you’ve acquired?
  16. Remove your lawn. Less grass equals using less water and less gas. Get drought tolerant plans. This will cut your energy consumption by 50-75%.
  17. Consider buying an older home and renovating it. A true green home is an old home that has been brought up to 21st C sustainability standards.
  18. Hang your clothes to dry them.
  19. Recycle as much trash as possible and compost 20-30% of what you eat.
  20. Start a community garden. Check out the American Community Garden Association for resources and tips.
  21. Try to eat less red meat to help cut methane gas.
  22. Plant your own vegetable garden.
  23. Do NOT drink bottled water. It takes 1.5M barrels of oil to make those plastic bottles and it takes 1,000 years for that plastic to biodegrade.
  24. If possible, work from home one day a week.
  25. Use your own shopping bags.