Research Report

Valuing Efficiency by Clicking on Energy Efficient Real Estate Listings: A Controlled Experiment

August 6, 2020
Energy Efficiency Research

Can a real estate website that lists energy efficiency information increase traffic to energy efficient homes? This report describes a controlled study in which simulated real estate search results are used to disguise a discrete choice experiment. Using a large national sample of American home buyers (N = 1,538), we show that efficiency information can influence both simulated home purchase decision-making and willingness to pay for efficiency. We demonstrate that some strategies for presenting efficiency information are more effective than others. Specifically, voluntary labeling programs, in which only the most efficient homes receive labels, are less effective than programs where all homes are labelled. This report has important implications for cities, realtors, listing websites, and others wanting to make efficiency information more accessible.

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Suggested Citation
Sussman, R., C. Kormos, C. Park, and E. Cooper. 2020. Energy Efficiency in Real Estate Listings: A Controlled Experiment. Washington, DC: American Council for an EnergyEfficient Economy.

This Article Was About

Building Policies and Codes Local and Community Initiatives Homes and Multifamily Buildings Energy Efficiency Strategies and Upgrades Federal Laws and Legislation


Reuven Sussman
Director; Behavior, Health and Human Dimensions Program
Christine Kormos
Celine Park
Emma Cooper
Emma Cooper, Senior Research Analyst, Human Behavior and State Policy
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