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Invest in environmentally friendly home features now to save money down the road: TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll shows that Western Canadians will spend more on a home if it has green features
TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - While we're not seeing solar panels and windmills on front lawns yet, the majority of Canadians are environmentally conscious when purchasing a new home or renovating their home, according to the second annual TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll. The biggest incentive for those Western Canadians willing to spend more on environmentally friendly features is the potential saving on future energy bills (68%). "Despite a slowing economy, two-thirds of Canadians are willing to pay more for a home that includes greener features," says Joan Dal Bianco, Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending, TD Canada Trust. "This number is down only slightly from 2007, which shows that even when times are a bit tougher, the environment is still important to Canadians." Fifty-six per cent of Western Canadians are willing to spend 5 to 10% more on a home that includes environmentally friendly features. Although improving the state of the environment is an important factor, Western Canadians say that what matters most when renovating a home is the resale value of their home (39% versus 32% nationally), followed by saving money in the future (31% versus 40% nationally). "With the national average home price at more than 300,000, the fact that some Canadians are willing to spend 5 to 10% more on a home with green features is an indication that people are committed to environmental responsibility, especially energy savings down the road," says Dal Bianco. Almost all Western Canadians are making their current homes more environmentally friendly. In fact, 90% of people have made improvements or will be making improvements in the next 12 months. The top improvement to making their home greener is replacing regular light bulbs with CFL light bulbs (68% versus 70% nationally), followed by applying weather-stripping and caulking to stop drafts (59% versus 52% nationally) and replacing, upgrading windows (48% versus 51% nationally). Seventy-six per cent have made or plan to make three or more improvements this year. Older Canadians (55 plus) are taking the most action when it comes to environmentally friendly home improvements. Not surprisingly, environmental friendliness in and out of the home is key for the majority of Canadians. Results from the first TD Friends of the Environment Foundation 'How Green Are You?' Survey, conducted in May 2008, also revealed that Canadians take their environmental commitment seriously. According to the poll, 95% of Western Canadians report that they recycle, with 39% of respondents stating that they recycle everything (versus 43% nationally) and 56% recycling when convenient (versus 51% nationally). Overall, the 'How Green Are You?' Survey found that when it comes to being environmentally responsible, 96% of Western Canadians give themselves a passing grade. When asked to grade their environmental friendliness, 25% gave themselves an "A" and 53% gave themselves a "B". Only 2% gave themselves an "F" and said that they did not really care about the environment. The TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll found that nearly all Canadians feel that the government should create initiatives to make residential construction greener. In fact, 91% of Western Canadians agree with environmentally friendly change being brought into building codes for new buildings and 80% agree with building code changes for renovations. Canadians are less likely to agree with government initiatives if they directly have to pay for them. Seventy-three per cent of Western Canadians disagree with a carbon tax for "non-green" homes. Seventy-one per cent (versus 67% nationally) would consider an environmental assessment prior to finalizing their renovation plans. Of those willing to consider an environmental assessment, 56% would pay under $400 for the assessment while one-third would like the assessment to be free. Many banks offer incentives for homeowners either purchasing a home or renovating a home. TD Canada Trust has two Green Home products for those who are planning to purchase a home or leverage the equity in their existing home. Both the TD Canada Trust Green Mortgage and the TD Canada Trust Green Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) offer a lower interest rate and rebates on certain purchases, while giving back to the environment. The cost of a residential energy efficient assessment is eligible for a rebate. About the TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll The TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll surveyed adult Canadians from across the country, to explore the relationship between the environment and home purchase or home renovations. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies on July 31, 2008 with English and French speaking Canadians 18+, using the Angus Reid Custom Express. The sample size includes 1,000 men and women. About TD Bank Financial Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank (to be known together as TD Bank); and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$509 billion in assets as of July 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Karen McCullough, Paradigm Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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