It Isn't Easy Being Green (Yet!) - Energy Efficiency - Mountain Home, ID

Real Estate Agent with CENTURY 21 Southern Idaho Realty

I just completed a year long (well, it took ME a year) program leading to certification under the ECOBroker program.  The primary goal of ECOBroker is to train real estate professionals about residential energy efficiency and home environmental issues (e.g. indoor air quality) so that we can can then provide knowledgeable advice to our clients.Certified EcoBroker logo

Unfortunately, it appears that I'm all dressed up but have no place to go.  Despite consumer interest in hybrid cars, synfuels and such; commitment to residential energy efficiency appears to be hovering at the lip service stage.  Nationally, 80% of home buyers claim that energy efficiency is a major factor in their choice of a home but  precious few are converting their concerns to cash.  To this point, about the only movement I've seen in the Mountain Home market is the inclusion of tankless water heaters in a few new homes.

Not a lot of builders can be accused of being early adopters of energy efficient construction either - at the moment I know of only one local contractor that builds to Idaho Energy Star standards.  Granted, there is a bit of the chicken or the egg thing going on here.  Builders don't promote these programs because  buyers haven't shown a lot of interest in paying for them (even though most of these features have short pay back times).  Buyers don't ask about them because builders aren't promoting them.  I guess this is one of those areas where I need to pull on my ECOBroker cape on and leap into action.

I think another reason for the current disinterest is that all things environmental are being hyped to the point where the public thinks that it's just another passing fancy (this process is known as "greenwash", a close relative of "hogwash").  Only time and ever increasing energy bills will resolve this concern.

To be fair, the current reluctance to incorporate energy efficiency and reduce the impact of homes on the environment isn't limited to Mountain Home or even Idaho and there are a few examples of progress.  The City of Mountain Home, ever-interested in conserving water, recently imposed a building permit requirement that all new homes will include underground sprinkler systems and at least some drought resistant landscaping.  The trade-off, of course, is housing affordability.

Oh well - it's a start

Comments (2)

Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains
Jan:  Great post and good for you on completing a year long course.  I know that had to be challenging.  I live in the North Georgia Mountains and we are already seeing some devastating concerns regarding our lakes form the impact of development.  It really is something we all need to think about but I think you make a valid point when it may be viewed as a fad or just another trend.  Even I felt that way to some degree because all of a sudden, all I hear about is going green everywhere I go. I didn't hear about this a few months ago, so it does give the appearance of being a fad and yet, if everyone will go beyond that and really start to understand how our environment is being impacted, I think we should all be able to agree, it's not a fad but a very serious situation that each and every single person can actually do something about.
Oct 19, 2007 09:16 PM
J Ross
Congrats on getting your certification for ECObroker! 
Oct 23, 2007 09:59 AM