Cincinnati, OH — September, 2015 – The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of Greater Cincinnati recently rolled out a set of enhanced features aimed at helping homeowners increase the value of their home through investments in energy efficiency and other green features. Related to a national Greening the MLS effort, homeowners and their real estate agents are now able incorporate a number of new energy features into the MLS systems via an innovative Energy Efficient/Green Features form. With this form, a homeowner can identify a comprehensive set of energy saving enhancements, including specific building rating information such as LEED, Home Energy Score, HERS rating, and ENERGY STAR. The form is then uploaded into the MLS system and searchable by realtors to share with prospective buyers.
A collaborative effort of organizations that include the U.S. Green Building Council’s Cincinnati Chapter, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Green Umbrella, and Efficiency First Cincinnati, have been working with the Cincinnati MLS over the past two years to build a community dialogue around the value of energy efficient homes in the Cincinnati market. Studies from across the country have revealed that homes with energy efficiency or other green features not only save money, but have a higher average value, in some cases nearly 10% more that their non-energy efficient counterparts.
To test its assumptions and explore options to grow the industry, the coalition convened a series of stakeholder discussions that included a diverse array of local real estate agents, appraisers, home builders, planning officials, and mortgage bankers. The purpose of this dialogue was to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with increasing transparency of green and energy efficient homes. Out of these conversations a consensus began to emerge around the value of green homes and the group developed a series of recommendations to the Cincinnati MLS to help incorporate more green building information into the local database.
Why Add Green Features?
Home energy costs typically exceed the costs of both insurance and property taxes, yet there is no easy way to report on and compare the energy use of homes. Home sellers experience similar frustrations. Those homeowners that have made investments in home energy improvements (such as insulation, high-efficiency heating and cooling, and other energy saving measures), are often unable to recoup their investments due to the inability to effectively communicate these benefits. Incorporating this information into the MLS system is thus crucial in creating value.
Gaining Value with Green
Studies conducted in markets throughout the country have shown that homes with green features have increased value, transact more quickly, and experience lower rates of foreclosure, compared to similar homes without these features. A 2012 study conducted by a pair of UCLA economists found that green labeled homes were selling for a 9% premium compared to non-labeled homes. A 2013 study from the University of North Carolina Center for Community Capital and the Institute for Market Transformation found a 32% lower risk of default for energy-efficient homes.
Jeremy Faust, Business Development Director
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
513.621.4232 x131 | firstname.lastname@example.org
LEED AP Homes, REALTOR®, GREEN
CFO / Quality Assurance Designee
Green Building Consulting
1401 Main St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513.304.4120 – Cell
513.381.1470 – OfficeRead More