College of Business & Economics

Energy Efficiency - Home

Contact:

Phone: (360) 650-2676

Email: energyefficiency@wwu.edu

Address:

Energy Efficiency

MS 9074

516 High Street

Bellingham, WA 98225

The average home in Washington State spends $1,056 on energy bills each year but much of that money is wasted if homeowners are not thinking about energy efficiency. Cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades require upfront costs but deliver value in superior comfort and years of lower energy bills. Why aren’t all homeowners investing more in energy efficiency if it saves money and results in higher comfort? A potential barrier is that homeowners may only expect to live in their home for 7-13 years and are thus reluctant to invest in energy efficiency measures that have a long pay off period. If they knew potential buyers value energy efficiency, they might be willing to make some of these upgrades.

 

Our project seeks to establish whether homes with lower energy bills sell for more than comparable houses. We’ll be using employees from the Building Performance Center to measure the expected yearly energy bills for both houses currently on the market and those that have recently sold.  We will then use a technique called hedonic analysis to test how energy efficiency impacts the market value of a house.

 

We will be evaluating 600 single-family homes in Whatcom and Skagit Counties between May 2017-December 2019. We hope to capture a variety of single-family homes, new and old, large and small, etc. Our evaluations will take between 1-2 hours. You or your realtor will need to be at the house for the evaluation. BPC evaluators will be looking at things including an Exterior Inspection (to evaluate roof reflectance, siding insulation, lighting, windows type, and shading ration), an Interior inspection, an Attic Inspection (to examine insulation levels, check for suspected hazardous materials), an Underfloor Crawlspace Inspection (to check insulation levels and for hazardous materials), a Blower Door Test (to determine air infiltration rates).

 

If you have a home on the market or have recently purchased a home and would like a free energy efficiency evaluation please contact us to schedule an evaluation.