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Benefits of LEED-Certified Homes: Savings, Value, Well-Being, Trusted
Savings: Reducing Energy & Water Consumption
The typical household spends about $2,150 a year on residential energy bills (1).
LEED-certified homes are:
- Built to be energy-efficient, ensuring that the home can be comfortably heated and cooled with minimal energy usage;
- Individually tested to minimize envelope and ductwork leakage;
- Designed to minimize indoor and outdoor water usage;
- Predicted to use an estimated 30 to 60% less energy than a comparable home built to International Energy Conservation Code.
Based on the average HERS ratings for each level of LEED certification, these homes could potentially see energy reductions of:
- Up to 30% (for LEED Certified homes)
- Approximately 30% (for LEED Silver homes)
- Approximately 48% (for LEED Gold homes)
- 50-60% (for LEED Platinum homes)
LEED for Homes projects must meet ENERGY STAR for Homes, which can cut energy bills by 20% (2), saving between $200 to $400 annually, adding up to potentially thousands of dollars saved over the seven or eight years that the typical homeowner lives in a home (3).
Value: Green Homes are Dream Homes
Researchers found that between 2007 – early 2012, the value of homes in California with a green certification label was an average of 9% higher than comparable, non-certified homes (4).
Consumers ranked green/energy efficiency as their top requirement for their dream homes,
- 60% said that green and energy efficient are amenities they want in their next home (5).
- A 2008 study conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction and USGBC found that the mean price of green homes purchased by survey respondents was $296,000; the median was $239,000.
Green homes can be built for the same cost as — and even less than — conventional homes.
- Sometimes there are upfront costs which on average are 2.4% and can be quickly recouped with the homeowners saving money for the rest of the home’s lifespan (6).
- Green homes have a higher resale value and are on the market for less time than comparable conventional homes. The Earth Advantage Study in 2011 found that, on average, green-certified new homes sold for 8% more than non-certified green homes. Resales of existing green homes sold for an average of 30% more than conventional homes (7).
LEED-certified homes require proper ventilation, high efficiency air filters and measures to reduce mold and mildew.
Each LEED home undergoes onsite inspections, detailed documentation review, and as-built performance testing.
Green Home Market
- Nearly 22,775 homes have received LEED for Homes certification and more than 85,600 are registered for certification (8).
- McGraw Hill Construction estimates that the green market was 2% of residential starts in 2005; 6-10% in 2008; and will be 12-20% by 2013 (9).
- 51% percent of LEED-certified home units fall in the affordable housing sector.
Environmental Impact of the Residential Market
- Households use about one-fifth of the total energy consumed in the U.S. each year; the residential sector is responsible for 21% of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions (10).
- Since 1985, residential energy consumption, measured as total energy (i.e., including electricity losses), increased overall by about 34% (11).
- To date, more than 1 million ENERGY STAR-qualified homes constructed save
consumers an estimated $200 million annually in utility bills (12).
- Total U.S. residential energy consumption is projected to increase 17% from 1995 –
- Total residential water use: 29.40 billion gallons per day or 7.1% of U.S. total water
- Total estimated construction and demolition (C&D) generation amount for residential construction in 2003: 10 million tons. Average residential C&D debris generation rate in 2003: 4.39 pounds per square foot (15).
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Information above is from: http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=18695
1U.S. Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration (Nov. 2010). Short-Term Energy Outlook.
2U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Sept. 2011). ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes – Assured Performance in Every
Qualified Home. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011 via
3U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (March 2009).ENERGY STAR Qualified New Homes. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011 via
4Kok, N. and Kahn, M. (2012) The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market. Accessed July 27, 2012 via
5Yahoo! (Dec. 2011). Yahoo! Real Estate Home Horizons Study – American Dream Homes Turn Green. Accessed Dec.
20, 2011 via http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/yahoo-study-american-dream-homes-turn-green.html
6Kats, G. (2009). Green Buildings and Communities: Costs and Benefits. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011 via
7Earth Advantage Institute (June 8, 2011). Certified Homes Outperform Non-Certified Homes for Fourth Year.
Accessed Dec. 20, 2011 via http://www.earthadvantage.org/resources/library/research/certified-homes-outperformnon-certified-homes-for-fourth-year/
8As of July 26, 2012.
9McGraw-Hill Construction (2009). 2009 Green Outlook: Trends Driving Change Report
10 U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. www.eia.gov
11 U.S. Department of Energy (Oct. 2008). Energy Efficiency Trends in Residential and Commercial Buildings.
12 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star and Other Climate Protection Partnerships – 2010 Annual Report
13 U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. www.eia.gov
14 U.S. Geological Survey (2005). Estimated Use of Water in the United States. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011 via
15 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2003). Estimating 2003 Building-Related Construction and Demolition
Materials Amounts. Accessed Dec. 20, 2011 via http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/imr/cdm/pubs/cd-meas.pdf
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