With monthly utility bills being a nagging cost all year long for homeowners, home buyers are more aware than ever of energy-efficient features within prospective homes. If a prospective home buyer is looking at your house and comparing it to others, having an edge on energy efficiency can be the difference that makes your home stand out amongst all the homes on the market.

In a study released by The National Association of Home Builders, called “What Home Buyers Really Want”, the results revealed that several energy-efficient home features are considered a “must-have” for today’s homebuyer:

  • 83% of buyers desire Energy Star-rated windows.
  • 81% of buyers desire Energy Star-rated appliances.
  • 80% of buyers desire energy-efficient lighting.
  • 79% of buyers desire Energy Star rating for the entire home

Essentially, what we can take away from this study is that buyers are generally more attracted to, and are more likely to submit offers on homes with energy-efficient features. As our climate changes and global warming become more of an issue, home buyers are becoming more environmentally conscious. If you’re looking to sell your home this year and are unsure of where to start when it comes to energy-efficient upgrades, let this guide be your starting point! When tackling small updates and large remodels, prioritizing these eco-friendly updates will result in greater long-term savings on energy bills and potentially an increase in home value.

Getting Started on your Eco-Friendly Updates

Before you start the home selling process, consider exploring cost-effective energy updates that will attract more buyers. If you plan on moving within the next 3 years, these suggestions will make sure that you get the best bang for your buck.

To find out where to begin making energy efficiency improvements, schedule a free home energy audit, also known as an energy assessment. An energy specialist will spend around three hours in your home and will provide you with a customized list of energy-saving recommendations.  This may include upgrading your insulation, replacing windows, or even completing tasks as simple as using programmable thermostats or changing your light bulbs and faucets.  

This is a simple way to gain that competitive edge over other homes that are also on the market once you do list. If you are installing new appliances no matter what, look for ones that are energy efficient. Buying a home is undoubtedly an expensive undertaking, and buyers love the idea of getting a home with new appliances that are energy efficient so they know they’ll be saving more money in the future.

5 Energy Efficient Upgrades to Consider

1. Installing Energy-Efficient Windows

If you live in a very old home or your windows haven’t been replaced in twenty years, taking the time and effort to replace old windows with new energy-efficient options can make a big difference. It will give your home more natural light, help avoid overcompensation of your HVAC system by reducing air leakage and entry, and provide an energy-efficient coating that will help prevent fading of furniture, flooring, and artwork.

2. Updating your Home Thermostat

Another change you can make to save on electric bills while also exciting buyers is to upgrade to an eco-friendly smart thermostat. This is one of the many smart-home upgrades you can make, and this one certainly makes the environment happy. With most smart thermostats, you can control your heating and cooling systems right from your phone. For example, if you’re already at work and you know that your children have just left for school, you can turn down the heat or air conditioning since nobody is home. Additionally, having a smart thermostat allows you to customize a heating and cooling schedule. You can program the thermostat to turn back the systems when you’re sleeping or have them automatically turn on when someone enters the home. 

3. Replacing the Water Heater

Replacing your old water heater with a new, energy-efficient model won’t just save you time, energy, and money, but it will also save you a significant amount of potential frustration. Newer model water heaters don’t run as often and they allow for water to heat up faster. This can help you avoid those post-shower “You wasted all of the hot water!” fights.

4. Switching Out the Property’s Lightbulbs

This is a super easy task that can be done in one weekend and will help attract more prospective buyers when it comes time to sell. Take the time to go through your home and swap out all of the old incandescent lightbulbs for CFL and LED lightbulbs. Making this switch will help reduce the electricity used and lead to a longer bulb life. Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED lightbulbs use an average of 90% less energy. If an incandescent bulb is 60 watts, switching to a CFL or LED will take you down to around 13 watts, depending on the bulb itself.

5. Investing in Solar Panels

While installing solar panels is a timely and expensive endeavor, doing so not only helps our planet but can also increase your energy savings and potentially enhance your home’s value. It’s no secret that solar panels reduce a property’s carbon footprint by converting natural sunlight into energy, but they can also greatly contribute to the selling price. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), your home value increases by an estimated $20 for $1 you save on energy bills. Keeping this math in mind, if your solar panels save you $700 per year, the value of your home increases by $14,000.

Effectively Selling your Environmentally Friendly Benefits to a Prospective Home Buyer

When you’ve made your upgrades, prepared the home for sale, and are nearly ready to put it on the market, follow these tips to make your property’s environmental aspects a selling point for potential buyers:

  • When listing your house on MLS, there are various energy efficiency options that when checked off, can attract more home buyers. If buyers are looking for specific energy-efficient items, you want them to know your house has what they want.
  • Be sure that you discuss energy-efficient items with your local expert REALTOR®. The more they know, the more of a selling tool it can be.
  • Create a full list of all “green assets” that your home offers. Be as specific as possible and try to include how much money you are saving. If you recently made some changes to reduce your energy bills, provide information on how much you spent before each month and now after.
  • If your recent energy bills reflect the decrease, share these with your agent as well so they can sell the energy costs of the home.


As homeowners navigate the continuous expense of monthly utility bills, the energy-efficient aspects within a home have never been more crucial. Not only will this help save money while you’re still living there, but it will contribute positively to the value of your home when it comes time to sell. Incorporating such features enhances a property’s appeal and also aligns with the growing environmental awareness among buyers. By highlighting these eco-friendly benefits when selling and showing evidence of reduced energy costs, you can make your home stand out to buyers and potentially sell it for a better price. Talk with an expert Lamacchia Realty REALTOR® today for guidance on how to make the most out of your home sale.