With Memorial Day on the horizon, we’re coming up on “”gas season””.
Get ready for lame office banter laced with anecdotes of “”how cheap the gas was at Quiktrip this morning””, the colletive wonder over how American car makers missed the boat, and AAA’s daily press releases on gas prices. There’s no turning back folks.
While there’s no denying our dedication to prices at the pump, it seems like the conversation (and priority) is starting to shift home (literally), where we consume- and spend- much more on energy. Consider the following two facts from the EcoBroker website:
· When asked to list their top 12 influences in buying a home, consumers responding to a National Association of Home Builders survey last year put energy efficiency at No. 2 , behind quality of living space. Five years ago, energy didn’t even make the same survey.
· Green building seems to be insulated from the recession and is growing. The value of green construction increased five-fold from $10 billion in 2005 to as much as $49 billion this year and could triple by 2013 to nearly $150 billion according to McGraw Hill’s 2009 Green Outlook study.
While these two studies hardly constitute a movement, anyone that’s come within smelling distance of Malcolm Gladwell’s “”The Tipping Point“” knows that the toothpaste is out of the tube so far as “”green building”” goes. Understanding a home’s energy costs- financial and environmental- have become a critical component to most home searches. Just as taxes and homeowner’s association fees can have a major impact on your monthly out of pocket expenses, so can the monthly utility bills.
Energy Efficient Home? Check. Lower Energy Bills? Check. Handsome, impossibly happy family? Check.
The next time someone makes awkward small talk with you about gas prices, change the subject. Ask them about their Georgia Power bill- how does it look come summer time? Do they use a lot of gas in the winter? Are they going to be looking for a more energy efficient home in the future?
You’ll not only succeed in upping the “”awkward quotient“”, but you’ll also do your part in putting our obsession with gas prices in perspective.