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Most homeowners readily understand that improving the energy efficiency of a home will save money on utility bills for years to come. But energy cost savings are only one small part of the benefits you get from energy efficient home improvements.

Some of the many added benefits people find most valuable are:
  • A More Comfortable Home
  • Higher Home Resale Value
  • A Healthier Home Environment
  • Greater Convenience
  • Improved Performance and Reliability
  • Increased Safety
  • Peace of Mind

Most homeowners find that these and other benefits that come from new energy efficient appliances and technologies turn out to be far more valuable than their bill savings alone.

A recent study of participants in utility energy efficiency programs found that people consider the added benefits of energy efficiency improvements to be at least twice as valuable as the savings from their utility bills alone. And sometimes these other benefits are so great that they completely swamp the utility bill savings.

Here’s what people had to say about how much they valued the added benefits of a number of common energy efficiency improvements:

Home Improvement Added Benefits Value Compared to Bill Savings
Hi Efficiency Air Conditioner
  • Higher resale value
  • More features, bigger
  • Faster cooling effect
  • More comfortable, less drafty
  • Quieter
1 to 3 times greater
Hi Efficiency Windows
  • Higher resale value
  • Better for the environment
  • More comfortable, less drafty
  • May not have to move
  • Less worried about bills
  • Windows open
  • Easier to clean
  • Reduce upholstery fading
1 to 4 times greater
Hi Efficiency Refrigerator
  • More features, bigger
  • Quieter
  • Kitchen looks nicer
  • Expect less repair
  • Better for the environment
1 to 2 times greater
Added Insulation
  • More comfortable, less drafty
  • Higher resale value
  • Better for the environment
1 to 1.5 times greater
Weather-stripping and caulk
  • More comfortable, less drafty
  • Quieter
1 to 1.5 times greater
CO2 Monitors
  • Improved safety
1 to 1.5 times greater
Hi Efficiency Lighting
  • Improved appearance
  • Replace lamps less frequently
  • Improved safety
  • Better for the environment
1 to 2 times greater

Source: Skumatz, L. and C. Dickerson, “What Do Customers Value?…” Evaluation in Transition: Working in a Competitive Energy Industry Environment, Denver CO: International Energy Program Evaluation Conference, August 1999.

What this study shows is that for every $1 you save on your energy bill you can expect to get at least an additional $1 worth of other benefits – and maybe as many as $4 more. And it’s these benefits that make your home a better, more comfortable place to live. So if you’re thinking about improving your home’s energy efficiency, remember it isn’t just about energy bill savings.

What can you do?
To find out more about how energy efficiency improvements make your home more valuable at resale, see our Resale Value page. If you’d like to get ideas about specific steps you can take to make your own home more comfortable and energy efficient, visit our Comfort Q&A and Other Resources pages.

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