Remodelers Play a Critical Role in Driving Energy Savings
Research clearly shows that U.S. homeowners want energy savings, but without help from professional remodelers, few projects would actually happen.
This is based on the January 2015 Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Sentiment Tracking Study and from a recent survey conducted by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) of its members.
The HIRI study revealed that homeowners have “very high interest” in finding ways to save energy. Although this sentiment is strongly expressed in the HIRI study, National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) remodeling contractors report that they are the ones to initiate the discussion to get these important features included in remodeling projects.
David Merrick, MCR, UDCP, of Merrick Design & Build and chair of the NARI Strategic Planning & Research Committee says that this fits in well with his experience with customers. “It is very rare for a client to bring up the subject of ways to save on energy. Once we mention the subject and show that what can be saved and the payback on their investment, they are very interested.”
A recent survey of National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) members shows that a majority (8 in 10) of remodelers regularly enter into discussions with homeowners about incorporating energy efficiency into their projects. In those discussions, NARI remodelers report the top three question areas are about costs (82%), savings (64%) and payback period (56%).
“In my 27 years working directly with customers I have never had one approach me about modifying their project for purely environmental purposes,” said Merrick. “This is a monetary driven decision. While homeowners really like energy saving options, they just aren’t knowledgeable. NARI provides great training for its members on appropriate ways to save on energy. It is always rewarding to help educate our customers in this important area.”
The top five energy upgrades are added insulation in walls or attic (71%), insulating windows (66%), high efficiency furnaces (59%), lighting (56%) and A/C units (50%). Also added by 30% or more of the NARI remodelers were tankless water heaters, duct insulation, electronic controls that lower energy usage, and insulating doors. The average remodeler has 4.7 different types of energy savings options that they regularly incorporate in client’s projects.
With so much interest and a wide range of options, energy savings will be a growth area in the industry. NARI remodelers will continue to lead the discussions with their clients to make sure that they make smart decisions for their homes.