Staying on top of green energy trends

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Staying on top of green energy trends

 
July 13, 2011
 
Homeowners are commonly advised to consider energy-efficient improvements before selling a home, but the ever-evolving field of environmental technology makes it tough to stay on top of the most beneficial - and practical - green energy developments. While it might impress the neighbors to convert a standard home into an energy-saving powerhouse, doing so can get expensive and it might not be what 
prospective home buyers are looking for. Instead, home sellers should focus on a handful of emerging and popular sustainable technologies.
 
Solar panels
 
Solar energy continues to be a popular choice among homeowners and home buyers looking to enhance a property's energy efficiency. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports homes with photovoltaic systems are becoming a favored choice among a certain segment of home buyers. In fact, data from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reports homes with the systems are selling for significantly more than standard properties in some states. NAR reports some home buyers are also asking for movable solar panels, which can be moved from property to property when they buy a new home.
 
Low-maintenance improvements
 
While home buyers may be in the market for energy-saving features, many also want amenities that require less manual labor and upkeep, according to NAR. Some entrepreneurs have been able to develop siding, roofing and paint that not only helps homeowners save on power costs, but also require little to no maintenance. NAR reports some home buyers find it very appealing to know their potential home's exterior surface will only need to be sprayed down once in a while in order to be kept clean and attractive.
 
Windows and doors
 
According to a survey by J.D. Power and Associates, a vast majority of Americans who purchase windows and doors place a heavy importance on their energy efficiency. These items are some of the most commonly purchased home improvements, and home buyers typically desire windows and doors that protect against the weather and help keep heat and cooling bills low. In judging windows and patio doors, triple-pane glass rated high for customer satisfaction, while glass-filled panels and low 
emissivity glass also ranked high, reports J.D. Power and Associates. 
 
Consumers also expressed frustration with windows and doors that have air leaks, making it important for home sellers to remedy the issues before showing a home to a prospective home buyer.