Florida Real Estate News –
Homebuyers should be on the lookout for ‘greenwashing’
CHICAGO – Homebuyers should be on the lookout for “greenwashing,” or the marketing of houses as eco-friendly and energy efficient when, in fact, they’re not.
The practice has become a growing issue in real estate as studies show consumers are drawn to, and will often pay premiums for, residences that are highly efficient in saving on utility bills.
“Look in the [multiple listing service] and you’ll see lots of homes listed as having green features,” says Florida-based appraiser Sandra Adomatis. However, she warns this listing may mean as little as “somebody put in some LED light bulbs or a couple of Energy Star appliances in the kitchen.”
Energy Vanguard president Allison A. Bailes III concurs that greenwashing is rampant, with many builders adding standard features that they promote as green.
“Greenwashing is a growing problem – clearly there’s a desire to jump on the train and use buzzwords” such as “green,” “sustainable,” and “high efficiency” with little supporting evidence, says Viva Green Homes CEO Kari Klaus.
Klaus’ firm has a website that posts non-certified homes. For the listing, the seller or agent must check off boxes listing the green features that a property offers, and the site then generates a one- to five-star “Green Score” that gives buyers an idea of the property’s actual greenness.
Adomatis cites six features buyers can use to identify a green home: a site sensitive to the surrounding environment, excellent interior air quality due to advanced air filtration and exchange systems, extensive use of non-toxic building materials, water conservation efficiencies, across-the-board energy efficiency, and ease of long-term operation and management.
Source: The Real Deal (01/12/18) Harney, Kenneth
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