Homeowners are willing to pay more for “green” products, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

With this in mind, the association says it will introduce its green-building program Feb. 14 at the 2008 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla.

The program launch will be the highlight of a day of environment-themed activities at the convention, which last year attracted more than 100,000 building industry professionals.

The national initiative will link dozens of successful state and local green building programs with a universal online certification tool, national registry of green homes and builders, and educational tools and resources for home builders and home buyers.

“We are bringing green building into the mainstream,” said NAHB President Brian Catalde. “The NAHB national green building program isn’t a new way to build green. However, it’s a low-cost administrative and certification system that will help keep green affordable - and that’s the key to market acceptance. Where better to announce it than during the largest trade show of its kind in the world?”

In addition to the national program, NAHB’s certified green professional designation will debut at the 2008 show. The certification is awarded after 24 hours of course work and requires regular additional continuing-education credits.

NAHB says that new survey data backs up the need for the new program. Public Opinion Strategies conducted a survey for the NAHB and found that a vast majority of Americans are willing to pay more for a green home as long as lawmakers are willing to offer incentives or rebates to help defray the extra costs.

The survey of registered voters showed that 78 percent of respondents would be more inclined to purchase a green home “if the government offered incentives or rebates,” according to the results.

“In fact, 44 percent of respondents say they would be much more inclined to buy a green home if incentives were available,” said Neil Newhouse, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies. “That’s a pretty strong indication of the power of state and federal support for energy and resource efficiency in new homes.”

“This survey strengthens our resolve to continue to work with environmental advocates and encourage Congress to extend the energy-efficiency tax credit,” said Catalde.

Such findings also corresponded with the results from another survey question asking how much respondents would be willing to pay for a green home. Among those who said they’d be prepared to pay more for a home with green features, 74 percent said they’d be willing to pay no more than an additional 10 percent, highlighting the need to keep green building affordable.

“NAHB has been in the forefront of the green building movement, ensuring that our customers, America’s home buyers, have choices. They prefer to spend money on green features, not excessive fees. That’s the homebuyer that the NAHB National Green Building Program is designed to benefit,” Catalde said.