Majority of Consumers Perceive Their Homes as Minimally Green


BENTON HARBOR, June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A recent survey conducted on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International by the NAHB Research Center* showed that 74 percent of consumers believe that less than a quarter of their home can be categorized as “green.” The complete study reported opinions from consumers and builders on various topics related to green home building.

In response to a related question, 34 percent of consumers felt that the most common definition for a green home is that it reduces energy and/or water consumption by a significant percentage. Another 23 percent felt that a home can be considered green when the entire home is green. Responses for this question were similar across all income levels.

Builders who participated in the survey had similar feelings about the definition of green homes – 35 percent preferred the definition of reducing energy and/or water consumption. However, an additional 35 percent defined homes as green if they are built to certification standards.

“These survey results demonstrate that many consumers recognize their homes can be more environmentally sound,” says Tom Halford, general manager, contract sales and marketing, Whirlpool Corporation. “Whirlpool Corporation remains committed to understanding our customers in order to develop information they need to become greener and to make energy-efficient appliances to address the needs suggested in these survey results.”

With regard to green certification programs, consumers overwhelmingly responded that ENERGY STAR® qualification is important for residential builds (78%). The National Green Building Standard® was also considered important by shares of respondents (44%), as well as state certification programs (40%).

There were 75 percent of builders who felt that ENERGY STAR® qualification was important for residential builds, while 57 percent responded that the National Green Building Standard® was important. Further demonstrating the importance of certification to this group, 59 percent of builders indicated that they sometimes or always certify homes they build to the specifications of a green certification program.

“In recognition that a home can be both affordable and energy efficient, Habitat for Humanity set a goal for all U.S. Habitat houses to be built to minimum ENERGY STAR standards by 2013,” said Larry Gluth, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International. “Habitat’s sustainable building efforts, in partnership with Whirlpool Corporation, homeowners, volunteers and donors are aimed at reducing each house’s monthly and life cycle costs and increase efficiency and durability while providing healthy environments.”

Highlighting the growing importance of the web in green initiatives, 60 percent of consumers answered that they get their green information from the Internet. Consumers also consider TV/radio (54%) and magazines/periodicals (42%) as their primary sources for green news and information.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that builds, rehabilitates and repairs simple, decent and affordable houses. Habitat homebuyers purchase homes at no profit and finance them with affordable loans. Whirlpool Corporation donates a range and ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerator to every Habitat home built nationally, totaling more than 125,000 appliances to-date.

This is the fourth in a series of findings on the Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity survey on green homes that was conducted among consumers and builders. The first press release was issued on Nov. 16, 2010, the second on Jan. 20, 2011 and the third on March 29, 2011.

Further results from the survey will be discussed in subsequent reports. For more information on the partnership between Whirlpool and Habitat, visit

About Habitat for Humanity:

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit

About Whirlpool Corporation:

In more than 11 years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Whirlpool Corporation has developed active partnerships in 22 countries with a commitment nearing $72 million. In North America, the company has donated more than 130,000 ranges and ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators to new Habitat homes, serving 65,000 families. Additionally, Whirlpool has donated more than 25,000 products to Habitat ReStore resale outlets, helping raise $3.5 million in two years. A proud sponsor of Habitat’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project since 2003, the company has engaged 7,000 employee volunteers, sponsored more than 100 homes around the world and served more than 16,200 families in Europe. Whirlpool plans to support the work of Habitat around the world through product donations, financial contribution or volunteerism. For more information, go to


The builder portion of the study surveyed 304 respondents and was conducted from July 23 – Aug. 4, 2010, using an online format. Members of the NAHB Research Center Online Builder Panel were invited to take the survey and respondents were required to be an active homebuilder or general contractor. The consumer portion surveyed 1,092 homeowners from Aug. 23-25, 2010, using an online format. Consumers nationwide were invited to take the survey through email invitations.

*The NAHB Research Center is an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).