North Americans seem to want homes that are energy efficient, but their desire for lower utility bills via green house plans often seems outweighed by their need for bigger, better appliances and electronic gadgets. But if the facts in two recent articles are true – one via a Yahoo! survey, and the other through an infographic – the energy reality of McMansions may be wearing on people, making way for greener dream homes.
Let’s start with the new US housing market survey done by Yahoo! Real Estate that discovered that aspiring homeowners now consider the dream house to be one that is energy efficient. In fact, among a long list of characteristics that were considered hallmarks of dream homes, green and energy efficient features were at the top, with 50% of the respondents saying green/energy efficient appliances and materials are a requirement for their dream home. Further, 27% of those currently looking for a new home are doing so specifically to find one that’s greener than the one in which they currently live.
But despite these apparent goals for energy efficiency, Americans still seem to be living in homes that cost them too much money. According to the new 1BlockOfftheGrid infographic on energy hungry homes, American homes since 1970 have increased in size by 66%, with energy bills rising proportionally. Not surprisingly, the biggest energy hogs in American homes are appliances and electronics. Refrigerators account for 51% of all appliance related energy consumed in the average household, with appliances like dishwashers, freezers, coffeemakers, and ovens rounding out the list. TVs have the biggest electronic energy appetite of all electronics, followed closely by computers, TV peripherals, and other electronics.
What do you think? Will the trend toward energy conservation win out over growing house (and utility bill) sizes?