The Role of Energy Efficiency in Homebuying Decisions

Results of Initial Focus Group Discussions

by Mark Alan Hanson, Mark A. Bernstein

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Various government agencies, advocacy groups, researchers, and homebuilders have struggled to understand what role, if any, energy efficiency plays in home-purchase decisions, and how to make energy-efficient homes more attractive to consumers. There are many reasons why homeowners buy the homes that they do; location, quality, price, amenities, and other factors play into those decisions. Historically, energy efficiency is believed only to have played a small role in particular home-purchase decisions. This report summarizes results of a “natural experiment” that describes views of homeowners who live in an unusual arrangement of new homes in a residential tract outside of Sacramento, California. Homes in this tract are comparable in most respects except that they have substantially different levels of energy efficiency. In a series of focus group discussions, views of these homeowners regarding their purchase decisions were collected, and subsequently analyzed.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Results

  • Chapter Three

    Conclusions and Options for Further Research

  • Appendix 1

    Pre-Discussion Questionnaire

  • Appendix 2

    Discussion Protocol

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