Labels, certifications, and rating systems for energy efficiency performance and "green" attributes of buildings have been available in the U.S. for over 10 years, and used extensively in the European Union and Australia for longer. Such certifications and ratings can make energy efficiency more visible, and could help spur demand for energy efficiency if these designations are shown to have a positive impact on sales or rental prices. This policy brief discusses the findings and methodologies from recent studies on this topic, and suggests recommendations for future research. Although there have been just a handful of studies within the last 10 years that have investigated these effects, a few key findings emerge:
- To maximize sales price impact, label or rating information must be disclosed early and visibly in the sales process;
- The approach to evaluating energy efficiency labels (e.g., ENERGY STAR) and general "green" certifications (e.g., LEED or GreenPoint Rated) may need to be different, depending on the type, vintage and market penetration of the label;
- Collaborative efforts to promote label adoption and build a large dataset of labeled buildings will be required to produce reliable study results.