Home Appliances and Rating Systems 

For many buyers and homeowners, kitchen and laundry appliances are the most visible signs of a home’s energy and water use. 

Around the world, manufacturers have taken steps to achieve greater efficiency and improve their brand reputation for sustainability. 

“In my market, roughly an hour west of Manhattan, I’ve observed that European buyers gravitate toward the Electrolux and Miele brands,” says Joanne Douds. “If they see these appliances in a kitchen, they immediately appreciate the home more.” 

Many of the most efficient global brands are less familiar to U.S. consumers. For example, among dishwasher brands, Miele, Beko, and Blomberg dominate ENERGY STAR®’s Most Efficient 2020 list.

40% of Global Energy Is Consumed by Buildings
California is the first state to require all new homes to have solar panels.

Two Types of Rating Systems

When working with international clients, it’s also helpful to know that labeling systems can differ:

  • Continuous labels provide an estimate of the annual cost to operate an appliance. The U.S.’s yellow and black EnergyGuide labels fall into this category. Canada uses a similar EnerGuide label.
  • Categorical labels assign a letter grade to an appliance. The EU operates under this type of system. Russia, China, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, and Argentina use similar labeling systems.

Green + Luxury

Features more frequently found in the luxury segment of the green market include:

  • Solar panels
  • Geothermal heating and cooling
  • Electric car charging stations
  • Complete home automation
  • Hospital-grade air filtration systems
  • Rainwater collection and irrigation systems
  • LEED Platinum certification
  • Private eco reserves
Bar chart: Who Leads in Green Building Projects?

NAR's Green Designation

If you’d like to expand your real estate credentials and earn additional business with current and future owners of resource-efficient homes, consider earning NAR’s Green Designation. 

Currently, nearly 300 Green designees also hold the CIPS designation. 

NAR’s Green Designation is earned after completing a two-day program that’s offered as a live lecture or an online class. 

Day 1: Resource-Efficient Homes—Retrofits, Remodels, Renovations and New Home Construction 

Day 2: Representing Buyers and Sellers of Resource-Efficient Homes 

Learn more at www.green.realtor.

Outside the U.S. 

Although the Green Designation is available live and online, you are required to be an “active” member of NAR to be conferred with this designation. NAR works with cooperating associations to offer the training outside the U.S., in English or Spanish. 

For example, last fall, the Spanish International Realty Alliance (SIRA) hosted the two-day program in Madrid and Barcelona, with over 60 attendees. 

If your association would like to explore hosting a similar event, send a message to narcredentials@nar.realtor.

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About Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives in Real Estate is a resource for global professionals, aimed at helping them globalize their local markets. Produced bi-monthly, this newsletter serves as a how-to guide and is full of useful and actionable tips. A free subscription is given to all Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) designees.

Learn more about earning the CIPS designation