Study shows energy efficient homes more profitable for sellers

By making your house more energy efficient before selling, you're probably making it more valuable in the long run, a new study purports.

Homes sold between 2007 and 2012 in California were, on average, 9 percent more valuable if they had energy efficient features compared to similar homes in the area, according to the report released July, 23.

The study was conducted researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). They monitored the sale of more than 1.6 million homes over the five year period, developing an analytical approach that eliminated other factors like demand, local crime rates and school program quality, to measure how environmental impact factored into property values.

According to the report, a home with an Energy Star or an LEED certification, which grade a house on how well it conserves energy, sold at markedly higher prices than homes that didn't have the designation.

"This is the first systematic evidence of the financial value of green label homes as measured in the marketplace," said Nils Kok, a visiting professor at UCLA who participated in the research said in an interview.

The authors of the study found that buyers who purchased energy efficient homes were more likely to employ energy efficient methods in other areas of their day-to-day life by doing things like buying hybrid cars.

The main factor homebuyers alluded to when discussing the purchase of an energy efficient home was the potential savings that they could accrue from lowered monthly bills.

Homeowners currently hoping to make a profit off of the sale of their current residence should seek an energy audit from a home inspection contractor to determine what ways they can improve their home's energy efficiency.