Increasingly, home buyers say energy efficient features, such as low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, and programmable thermostats, top the list of things they most want to have in their new house. And, according to a release from the National Association of Home Builders, more builders are including these features to meet that demand. “Our builder members are telling us that more and more buyers are looking at new homes for their efficiency in design and functionality,” Tom Woods, NAHB’s chairman, said. “Whether it’s improved insulation or sustainable building materials, today’s new homes can reach higher energy performance and greater durability than was possible even 20 years ago.” In fact, a recent survey of single-family home builders found nearly 25 percent of builders installed alternative energy-producing equipment in new construction, including geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels. And the trend should continue to grow as more first-time buyers enter the market. That’s because the vast majority of Millennial buyers say they’re willing to pay 2 to 3 percent more for an energy-efficient home as long as they will see a return on their utility bills. More here.