Three-quarters of millennials want Energy Star-rated appliances in their homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders' What Home Buyers Really Want report. Energy Star ratings for the whole home, efficient lighting, and insulation higher than required by code are also highly coveted green features, according to the report.

The report is based on a survey of recent and prospective home buyers—people who have bought homes in the last three years or plan to purchase a home in the next three years. As part of the survey, respondents were asked to rate more than 175 features on a four-tier scale of "essential/must have," "desirable," "indifferent," and "do not want."

Breaking down the share who want Energy Star®-rated appliances shows that 44% consider the feature desirable and 31% consider it an essential/must have.

Energy Star® ratings are clearly important to millennials, as the second most-wanted green feature is an Energy Star® rating for the whole home: 71% of them want this (47% say it’s desirable and 25% say it’s an essential/must have). The next most-wanted features continues to show that energy efficiency is a significant factor: 70% want efficient lighting, 63% want more insulation than what code requires, 56% want a net zero home, 54% want thermal heating/cooling, and 53% want locally-produced materials.

For several green features, millennials have diverging preferences compared to older generations. Although a significant share of millennials want Energy Star® appliances (75%), its popularity grows even more with age: 83% of Gen X’ers want it, 89% of baby boomers, and almost all seniors (96%). More than half of millennials—52%—want barrels/cisterns to collect rainwater for irrigation, but interest in this feature falls with age, dropping to just 29% of seniors.

Read More