NJAR® Green Building Report Shows Costs and Benefits of Home Energy Efficiency Improvements


Edison, N.J. – August 3, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The New Jersey Association of REALTORS® (NJAR®) Governmental Research Foundation (GRF) today released a report showing the economic costs and benefits associated with “green building” practices or techniques improving the energy efficiency of a home. The study, Costs and Benefits of Residential Energy Efficiency Improvements, was conducted for NJAR® GRF by the Rutgers Center for Green Building at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

According to GRF President Bill Hanley, “This report was prepared to ascertain what types of “green” upgrades make sense for homeowners to invest in, with regards to how long it will take for these types of upgrades to either reduce costs or be paid back.”

Researchers studied various types of “green” upgrades for this report including envelope upgrades (which includes insulation, windows and doors), active mechanical systems (such as heating units), solar upgrades and ENERGY STAR/LEED upgrades. Specifically, the study examined the costs associated with “green building”, energy savings associated with “green building” practices and changes in energy operating costs associated with “green building.” The report found that four types of “green” upgrades have a payback period within the typical length that a person owns a home, approximately seven years.

“The study concluded that a well-insulated building envelope is usually highly cost-effective, especially when the home is constructed using advanced framing techniques that apply thicker insulation to walls, attics, and foundations. Solar upgrades also have a payback period of less than seven years when including state incentives, and they can actually provide revenue to a homeowner,” Hanley added.

Furthermore, Hanley noted, “At a time when policymakers from Washington to Trenton are looking at ways to improve energy efficiency, the costs associated with ‘green’ upgrades should be taken into consideration and policies mandating energy efficient upgrades on homeowners should not be considered. Rather, incentives should be offered for those interested in making their homes more energy efficient.”

According to Dr. Clinton Andrews, Faculty Director for the Rutgers Center for Green Building, “the key is to help the homeowner consider the initial cost of a home together with its operating costs, and thereby understand what is a better overall investment given that they are paying both the mortgage and the utility bills every month, for many years.”

“This report shows that certain upgrades are cost-effective but homeowners should certainly consider how long it will take them to recoup their initial investment, whether building a new home or making ‘green upgrades’ to their existing home,” concluded Hanley.

To view the report in full, visit http://www.njar.com/about_njar/grf/pdf/cost_benefits_energy.pdf

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The New Jersey Association of REALTORS®, with approximately 46,000 REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® members, is one of the largest trade organizations in the state. NJAR®’s membership is comprised of real estate professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are members of the national and local REALTOR® organizations. As the leading advocate for the real estate industry and private property rights in New Jersey, NJAR® is committed to protecting the dream of homeownership. For more information, please visit www.njar.com.

The NJAR® Governmental Research Foundation (GRF) was formed in 1999 to research issues; to promote knowledge of, conducted research, and assist in issue research in the field of real estate and related fields; and to inform and educate the public on subjects of the public interest and general concern pertaining to real estate, land use and related topics.

For media inquiries contact:

Lauren Castellano
Director of Communications
Phone: (732) 494-4709
Fax: (732) 404-8130
E-mail: lcastellano (at) njar (dot) com


The New Jersey Association of REALTORS® (NJAR®) is a non-profit organization serving the professional needs of its members. It is part of the nation's largest trade organization, the  NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).

NJAR® membership is composed of commercial and residential brokers and salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and other real estate professionals who have pledged to subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics.


Lauren Castellano
Media Coordinator
Phone: (732) 494-4709
Fax: (732) 404-8130

295 Pierson Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837    

Phone: (732) 494-5616
Fax:   (732) 494-4723

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