Most Consumers Think Home is Minimally Green
Jun 9, 2011
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Most consumers – 74% - who responded to a recent survey believe that less than a quarter of their home can be categorized as "green." The survey was conducted on behalf of Whirlpool Corp. and Habitat for Humanity International by the NAHB Research Center to report on opinions from consumers and builders on various topics related to green home building.

What is a "green" home?
• 34% of consumers felt that the most common definition for a green home is that it reduces energy and/or water consumption by a significant percentage
• 23% of consumers felt that a home can be considered green when the entire home is green.
Responses for this question were similar across all income levels.

Builders responding to the survey had similar ideas of what a green home should be:
• 35% of builders preferred the definition of reducing energy and/or water consumption
• an additional 35% of builders defined homes as green if they are built to certification standards.

"These survey results demonstrate that many consumers recognize their homes can be more environmentally sound," said Tom Halford, general manager, contract sales and marketing for Whirlpool Corp.

Consumer opinions about green certification programs:
• 78% of consumers responded that Energy Star qualification is important for residential builds
• 44% of consumers considered the National Green Building Standard important
• 40% of consumers considered state certification programs important

Builder opinions about green certification programs:
• 75% of builders felt Energy Star qualification was important for residential builds
• 57% of builders considered the National Green Building Standard important
• 59% of builders indicated that they sometimes or always certify homes they build to the specifications of a green certification program.

Larry Gluth, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity, said the organization wants to help prove the affordability of energy efficient home building. Its goal is to build all its homes to minimum Energy Star standards by 2013. Such homes will also benefit their occupants with lower energy costs.

Where do consumers get their "green" information? The survey found:
• 60% of consumers answered that they get their green information from the Internet
• 54% from TV/radio
• 42% from magazines/periodicals

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that builds, rehabilitates, and repairs houses. Whirlpool donates a range and Energy Star qualified refrigerator to every Habitat home built nationally, totaling more than 125,000 appliances to-date.

The NAHB Research Center is an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

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