REALTORS® are expected to know everything about the homes they are trying to sell. From the age of the roof to the type of flooring material, REALTORS® must be familiar with every inch of a home in order to sell it. This includes highlighting a home’s eco-friendly features, including its energy efficient appliances.
What makes an appliance energy efficient? What are the benefits of using energy efficient appliances? Here’s what every REALTOR® should know to sell more homes:
What Are Energy Efficient Appliances?
Energy efficient appliances use less energy to perform the same tasks as standard appliances. It’s easy for consumers to spot an energy efficient appliance thanks to its bright yellow ENERGY STAR® label.
The ENERGY STAR® program was established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help consumers make smarter, eco-friendlier decisions when choosing appliances. To earn an ENERGY STAR® label, an appliance must meet specific energy efficiency requirements established by the EPA or Department of Energy (DOE).
The requirements vary by product category. For example, a refrigerator might need to meet different requirements than a freezer to get the ENERGY STAR® label. Some of the key principles that guide the EPA and DOE when establishing these requirements include:
- The product’s performance and energy consumption must be measurable and verifiable.
- The product must be similar in price to standard products. If it’s not, consumers must be able to recoup the difference in price through energy savings.
- The product’s performance must not suffer in order to increase its energy efficiency.
These are some of the many principles that the EPA and DOE consider when determining what requirements an appliance must meet to earn the coveted ENERGY STAR® label.
Types of Energy Efficient Appliances
There are many different types of energy efficient appliances that you may find in a home you are listing. The ENERGY STAR® label can be found on:
- Clothes washers
- Clothes dryers
- Air purifiers
- Water heaters
These are the ENERGY STAR® appliances that are available for residential use. The ENERGY STAR® label can also be found on a wide range of commercial appliances. There are also ENERGY STAR® electronics, such as telephones, televisions, computers, and monitors, and ENERGY STAR® ceiling fans, light fixtures, and light bulbs.
In total, there are over 65 different types of ENERGY STAR® products and appliances.
How Can Energy Efficient Appliances Benefit Families?
If you are selling a home with ENERGY STAR® appliances, it’s important to know how to communicate the benefits of these appliances to potential buyers. Living in a home with energy efficient appliances can benefit homeowners in a number of ways, including:
- Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Lowers Utility Bills
- Improves Quality of Life
- More Convenient
- Adds Value to the Home
Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Appliances are powered by electricity supplied by local power plants, which generate electricity by burning fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal. Burning these fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Once greenhouse gases are released, they build up in the atmosphere, where they can stay for tens to hundreds of years.
Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are the leading cause of climate change. But living in a home with energy efficient appliances can help homeowners do their part to combat climate change.
Energy efficient appliances consume less electricity than standard appliances. Because they use less electricity, energy efficient appliances generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions than standard appliances.
The amount of energy that homeowners can save with energy efficient models varies depending on the type of appliance.
An ENERGY STAR® freezer uses 10% less energy than a standard freezer, whereas an ENERGY STAR® dishwasher uses about 12% less energy than a standard model. ENERGY STAR® refrigerators use about 15% less energy than other models, which means they consume less energy than an average 60-watt light bulb.
Energy savings like these can drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere.
Lowers Utility Bills
The average household spends over $2,000 per year on energy bills. About 12% of this is spent on appliances such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, and dryer. But living in a home with energy efficient appliances can help homeowners save money by lowering their monthly utility bills.
It’s simple: the less energy a home consumes, the less homeowners will spend on energy. Because these appliances use less energy than standard models, homeowners won’t consume as much energy.
The amount that homeowners will be able to save with energy efficient appliances varies depending on the homeowner’s lifestyle and the type of appliance.
An ENERGY STAR® clothes washer can save homeowners about $35 per year, whereas an ENERGY STAR® air purifier can save about $25 per year. It only costs about $50 per year to power an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator, but it can cost between $100-200 per year to power a standard refrigerator.
These savings quickly add up, so homeowners could potentially save hundreds of dollars per year by living in a home with energy efficient appliances.
Improves Quality of Life
Having certain energy efficient appliances can actually improve a homeowner’s quality of life.
For instance, an energy efficient dehumidifier is designed to remove bacteria and reduce the amount of moisture present in the air. By doing this, energy efficient humidifiers protect the home from mold and mildew and create a healthier living environment for families. This can benefit all families, but it’s especially helpful if a family member suffers from asthma or allergies.
Energy efficient appliances also tend to make less noise than standard appliances. This means running a load of laundry or dirty dishes won’t prevent families from getting a little peace and quiet at home.
Energy efficient dishwashers and clothing washers use less water, which means they can reduce the demand on the home’s water heater. Because of this, homeowners won’t have to wait a long time for the water to heat up just because the washer or dishwasher is running when they want to take a shower.
These are several examples of how energy efficient appliances can have a positive impact on the quality of a homeowner’s life.
Energy efficient appliances can also make life at home more convenient for homeowners.
For example, ENERGY STAR® clothes washers can hold more clothing than standard models. Homeowners will be able to wash more clothing per load, which means they won’t need to do as many loads of laundry, so they may not need to spend as much time doing laundry.
Energy efficient clothes washers are also designed to operate more gently than standard models. This means homeowners may be able to wash delicate clothing items in an energy efficient clothes washer instead of taking the time to hand-wash or dry clean them.
ENERGY STAR® dishwashers are designed with soil sensors that continuously test how dirty the dishes are throughout the wash cycle. The dishwasher uses the information from these sensors to adjust its performance to minimize the water and energy that is used to clean the dishes.
This makes washing dishes much more convenient. Homeowners won’t have to manually select the type of cycle they want to run before starting the dishwasher. The dishwasher will make this decision for them–all homeowners need to do is remember to hit the start button.
These are just two examples of the many ways in which energy efficient appliances can make home life more convenient for homeowners.
Adds Value to the Home
No buyer wants to purchase a home that is going to sharply decline in value over the years. Buyers want to know that they are making a wise investment by purchasing a home, which is why REALTORS® must know how energy efficient appliances impact a home’s value.
Today’s buyers are willing to pay more for homes with green features, especially energy efficient appliances. As a result, a home with energy efficient appliances might retain its value better than a home without these appliances. Even if buyers don’t plan on moving right away, this could benefit them down the road, which is why it’s important for them to know.
How Can Energy Efficient Appliances Help You Sell More Homes?
A growing number of buyers are looking for homes with energy efficient features, including energy efficient appliances. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), two-thirds of REALTORS® said that highlighting the energy efficient features of a home in a listing was somewhat or very effective in attracting buyers.
But if you aren’t knowledgeable about energy efficient appliances, you may not know the best way to promote these features in your listings. As a result, you could miss out on the opportunity to sell to eco-conscious buyers.
Energy efficient appliances can help set your listing apart from other homes on the market. But you must make sure they stand out to potential buyers who tour your listings. You are responsible for educating these buyers and helping them understand the benefits of energy efficient appliances.
Focus on the potential cost savings of energy efficient appliances. Do some rough calculations to show potential buyers how much the appliances will help them save on a monthly or annual basis. This will show buyers that you are looking out for their best interests. By the time they leave, they should view the energy efficient appliances as a major selling point of the home.
Just like a pool or spacious walk-in closets, energy efficient appliances should be treated as attractive, desirable features that REALTORS® can promote in order to sell a home quickly and for as much as possible.