Roof over the head is one of the basic needs of the humans and more so in a developing country like India where large chunk of the population, especially in urban areas lives in informal settlements without having access to basic amenities. Thus, our spending power is solely determined by the size and location of the house where we are going to live. However, sudden breakout of pandemic which disrupted the normal life especially in urban areas might change the way think about the houses as hygiene factor too has started playing in the minds of the potential buyer. Now factors like access to open and green spaces, healthcare and proximity to the workplace equally, if not more, play an important role while buying a new home.
Sudden surge in electricity bills during the first lockdown, which had created lot of acrimony among the homeowners but at the same time has created awareness about the need for energy efficient homes. Thus, apart from affordability, hygiene and energy efficiency will be the other major factors which the homebuyers are likely to keep in mind while taking the decision.
These changing mindsets present a golden opportunity for the government to promote green and energy efficient houses in the minds of masses which it should not let it go waste.
Its true that most of the builders are reluctant to invest in green buildings and energy efficient homes fearing inflated costs, the government should follow the carrot and stick policy to encourage such builders to go for green buildings which is in the long-term interest of everyone.
It should be noted that the buildings contribute to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions and consume 40% of the world’s energy. However, through sustainable designs, constructions and operations green buildings and energy efficient homes can reduce the emission of toxins and help us in our fight against climate change. Studies have shown that going green right from the grass root level can help control and reduce the pollution. India which has one of the youngest population in the world should grab this opportunity and convince the younger generation about the benefits of green and energy efficient homes which may encourage them to dive deep into the details of a real estate project and will definitely lean towards eco-friendly projects. Housing complexes which have built-in solar panels, proper ventilation, appropriate wall-to-window ratio, and light color on the walls will attract the younger generation as these subliminal changes will eventually help saving maintenance and electricity costs in the long run.
There is no doubt that the energy efficient homes are the future of realty and by creating awareness about the concept on both supply and demand sides of the market, this future can be brought to reality much earlier. While the builder is concerned about his brand image, the home buyer’s sole concern will be his family’s wellbeing. Green and energy efficient homes can address both these issues effectively and the government only needs to create spark by spreading awareness.