Southern California environment news and trends

Green-certified homes sell for more in California

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A new study by researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley has found that having an environmentally friendly home in California can increase the sale price by about 9 percent.

The researchers analyzed data on 1.6 million single-family homes sold between 2007 and 2012, with approximately 4300 of them being certified by Energy Star, LEEDS for Homes or GreenPoint Rated. Based on an average selling price of $400,000, the study found that green certified homes sold for about $34,800 more than the rest.

“In certain regions of the state, we observed a phenomenon we’ve termed the ‘Prius effect’ — a positive correlation between the value of green home labels and environmental ideology, as measured by the rate of hybrid registrations,” said researcher Nils Kok in a statement. “In communities with strong environmental values, residents may see green homes as a point of pride or status symbol… It appears that a hotter local climate also provides a practical reason to value green homes. With both ideological and pragmatic reasons to go green, it’s no surprise that the popularity of these labels is rising.”


Orange crush: One million refrigerators recycled in Southern California

Southern California Edison and the Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a local recycling milestone: One million refrigerators crushed as part of the EPA’s ongoing Responsible Appliance Disposal Program. Making SoCal Edison the first utility to reach the one million mark, the occasion was celebrated last week at an Appliance Recycling Center of America in Compton, California. 

“It’s about the customers. Californians are educated, motivated and care about the environment,” said EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld by phone about the accomplishment. “People here understand the relationship between energy consumption and air quality, and want to do their part in tipping the balance.”  

Blumenfeld also cites the ease of the SoCal program as opposed to other cities, where recycling an old refrigerator is much more of a chore.