Royal LePage National Association of Green Agents and Brokers

Green friendly home improvements will likely yield a solid return on investment come selling time.

Almost three quarters of Canadians (72%) say they will look for a green-improved property in their next home purchase, and 63 per cent will be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly home, according to the Royal LePage Eco Home Survey released on October 30, 2007.


The joint Royal LePage National Association of Green Agents and Brokers Eco Home Survey, which examines the attitudes and opinions of Canadians with respect to green living, found that Canadians are willing to pony up cash for greener home features. In fact, 62 per cent of respondents are willing to pay between $5,000 and $20,000, for green features, while eight per cent (8%) of respondents are willing to spend $20,000 or more on a home deemed green.

"The mood of Canadian home buyers and sellers is changing with the environment as reflected in the decisions they are making about their dwellings. From simple energy conservation efforts to the more elaborate use of organic building materials, the environmentally conscious mindset that our agents are seeing in clients is not a passing trend," said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage Real Estate Services. "

To service this growing segment of the real estate market, we are pleased to launch our partnership with the National Association of Green Agents and Brokers as well as the green accreditation program. This program will educate and empower our REALTORS® and brokers, as well as consumers on how to make eco-friendly decisions when it comes to the home."

Through various education courses and sales materials funded in part by the Ministry of Energy, Royal LePage real estate agents will be trained by National Association of Green Agent and Brokers to assess environmental elements within a home and identify properties that adhere to green standards. Royal LePage members who take the National Association of Green Agent and Brokers training will be easily identifiable though a special designation logo.

"Few people realize that residential, commercial and institutional buildings represent more than 33% of our total greenhouse gas emissions," said Elden Freeman, National Association of Green Agent and Brokers founder and executive director. "While it is unreasonable to completely reduce carbon dioxide created by homes, there are various practices homeowners can implement, such as installing high-energy efficient windows, doors and insulation, high efficiency furnaces and appliances, and water-conserving fixtures such as shower heads and toilets that will significantly reduce negative effects on the environment."

While positive changes are occurring in the general population there is much work to be done. More than half (51%) of all survey respondents say they are very concerned about the environment and think we are in dire need of change some are not as quick to implement changes. When asked, "What is preventing you from making your home more green?" over half (54%) of respondents said it was too expensive to do, while 15 per cent said they have no idea where to start.

Added Soper: "Canadians need to know that going green can certainly be within their means and within their reach. There are many simple and affordable measures that can lead to big gains for both the environment and homeowners' cheque books."

Small Steps for Big Change

When it comes to describing how green their current lifestyle is, 72 per cent of Canadians say they engage in traditional recycling practices. Making a difference can be as simple as implementing small environmentally friendly practices. The most popular green modifications that poll respondents already implement in their homes include switching from regular light bulbs to CFL light bulbs (74%), adding window and door sealers to prevent heat loss (61%) and switching to high efficiency washers and dryers and using low flow water fixtures (54%).

Motivating Forces of Nature

When asked, "What is the most influential factor for making your home more or completely green?" 35 per cent of respondents cited they are doing it for their children so they inherit a healthy planet; 32 per cent are doing it for the cost savings; and one quarter (25%) are doing it for their health and to have peace of mind they are living the best they can.

Mature Canadians edge out the younger set when it comes to recycling. Respondents aged 55+ (77%) are more likely than those aged 18 to 34 years (67%) to engage in traditional recycling practices.

More women (31%) than men (18%) are going green for their health. Conversely, more men (41%) than women (23%) cite cost savings as the most influential factor for making a change.

Additional Poll Highlights

Atlantic (72%) residents are the most likely to pay more, whereas Ontario residents (60%) are the least likely to pay more for an eco-friendly dwelling.

Fourteen per cent (14%) of homeowners are already living in an eco-friendly abode.

The survey found that 16 per cent of respondents say they exercise their green side from time to time, when it is convenient, and only nine per cent (9%) claim to be at one with Mother Earth, and live a very green lifestyle.

Seventy-eight (78%) believe there is a direct link between the unseasonably warm temperatures and decades of the world's lack of awareness about the environment. Albertans are the most reticent about such a link, with 68 per cent of respondents from Alberta claiming to see a link, whereas 82 per cent of people in Quebec believe the two elements are related.

About National Association Of Green Agents and Brokers

The National Association Of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB) is Canada is the largest non profit association of Real Estate Agents committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The associations GreenrealestateTM curriculum provides an education and certification program for Real Estate Agents. Through the associations innovative offerings, Real Estate Agents promote the benefits of energy conservation to their buyers and sellers. The National Association Of Green Agents and Brokers has over 15,000 affiliate members coast-

National Association of Green Agents & Brokers vision is to be seen as a positive force in promoting ways of improving energy conservation and environmental awareness of buyers and sellers of new and resale residential real estate. A Greener home may not save the world but it is a small step in the right direction. We may think of ourselves as trustees of the planet for the sake of future generations.

As a member of NAGAB, I can provide value to my buyers and sellers by helping them choose new homes or retrofit existing homes that will save energy, lower utility bills, improve environment, lower their ecological footprint and receive energy saving government grants or incentives.

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