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Does energy efficiency help home prices? WWU faculty to find out

Echotech Energy Systems employees install solar panels on the roof of Chandler's Square Retirement Community in Anacortes. Echotech also does installations on homes, and three WWU researchers will be studying the impact of energy efficiency on local housing prices.
Echotech Energy Systems employees install solar panels on the roof of Chandler's Square Retirement Community in Anacortes. Echotech also does installations on homes, and three WWU researchers will be studying the impact of energy efficiency on local housing prices. eabell@bhamherald.com

Three Western Washington University faculty members were given a two-year grant to study the impact of energy efficiency on local housing prices.

Sharon Shewmake, Reid Dorsey-Palmateer and Phil Thompson were awarded a $309,304 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The researchers are partnering with Building Performance Center and local real estate agents to calculate a home’s expected annual energy usage and see if energy-efficient homes sell at a higher price.

Data collected will add perspective on how upgrading the energy efficiency of home affects its market price, according to a news release from Western.

“This new source of data will provide cutting-edge evidence of the impact of energy efficiency on housing prices,” Shewmake said.

The project will focus on homes in Whatcom and Skagit counties, so the researchers will be looking for sellers of homes in these areas. All three researchers are in Western’s Department of Economics.

For information about the grant or the research, contact Shewmake, 360-650-4892 or sharon.shewmake@www.edu.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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