Home Innovation Insights

Michelle Foster
August 8, 2013

Don’t Hide Behind the Fine Print. Stand Behind Your NGBS Green Certified Home.

Consumers hate fine print. And why shouldn’t they? The fine print smacks of skullduggery and fosters distrust. From a consumer’s perspective the fine print is no more than a lawyer’s crafty, underhanded ingenuity to deceive consumers and excuse the home builder from being held accountable for claims regarding performance.

Consumers’ distrust of the sales process is a strong factor in their overwhelming support of independent, third-party certifications. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that fully 80 percent of consumers make purchasing decisions based on an independent, third-party certification. An NGBS Green certification mark can validate a builder’s green claims and help win the trust of prospective homebuyers. However, even with an NGBS Green certification mark, many builders, at the urging of their attorneys, still qualify the expected performance of their homes with detailed terms and conditions … in fine print.

But what if you could eliminate the fine print? Stand behind the performance of your homes without all the legal disclaimers. Guarantee the energy performance outright. One independent survey found that 75 percent of recent homeowners believed an energy guarantee would increase confidence in energy savings promoted by the builder, and over 70 percent of consumers in that same survey said an energy guarantee would increase their interest in purchasing a home. Don’t just say, “Trust me;” provide your customers with a reason to trust you by providing a written promise.

Builders seeking NGBS Green certification now have the opportunity to affordably offer a complete energy guarantee to their homebuyers. Working in partnership with Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG), Home Innovation Research Labs is pleased to offer a Residential Energy Guarantee Program, with special discount pricing, to builders seeking NGBS Green certification. The Residential Energy Guarantee is based on a home’s energy analysis, or HERS rating report, projections on total energy use. For those builders that choose to participate, BBWG will pay your homebuyers for any additional annual natural gas and electric costs over the HERS projection. The Residential Energy Guarantee is available for terms of two, three, or five years.

Sound good? It gets better. All builders participating in the NGBS Green Certification Program can purchase a Residential Energy Guarantee for their homes at the lowest available price. The price available to NGBS Green Partners is usually only available to builders purchasing more than 100 guarantees a year. Why do NGBS builder partners earn the special rate? Because BBWG recognizes that each NGBS Green Certified home must pass the most stringent verification and certification process available within the residential industry. NGBS Green Certified homes are better built and have earned the NGBS Green certification mark as proof of their compliance with the National Green Building Standard. So this opportunity gives our participating builders even more reason not to have to rely on, “Trust me.” Instead, they can close the deal with, “Don’t take my word for it – each NGBS Green Certified home we build is guaranteed.”

If you’re interested in using the BBWG Residential Energy Guarantee as a way to erase the fine print, contact your NGBS Green Verifier or Home Innovation Labs directly for more information. If you are not yet working with an NGBS Green Verifier and want to learn more about NGBS Green Certified homes, contact us.

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