Modern studies of home buyers constantly put energy efficiency at the top of the list of desirable features in today’s new homes. New home construction firms report that their buyers are clamoring for more energy-efficient homes certified through programs such as Energy Star, and constructed using more recycled materials and less materials in total. In survey after survey, buyers place energy efficiency, low maintenance, and low operating costs, behind only safety as the most desirable features in their next home.
While builders strive to give their clients what they want in terms of energy-efficient homes, industry experts point out that to be certain of the impact of energy-efficient designs, a home energy monitoring system should be standard. Energy monitoring systems ensure that energy-efficient designs live up to their billing by tracking the home’s use of energy overall by its various green components. This lets homeowners see what works and what doesn’t.
Monitors can also be integrated with energy control systems that let homeowners program when energy is used for systems such as lights, remote-controlled sun shades, HVAC systems, washing machines, dishwashers and more, based on the living patterns of the home owners. With these so-called “smart home” energy control systems, a washing machine, for example, can be programmed to turn on at a time of day when energy costs are lowest — without anyone needing to be home to press a start button.