Our latest waterfront custom home and a 2011 Parade entry “40th Street” has trumped our last energy efficient effort. The home scored a HERS Rating of 56, thus earning a 5 STAR + rating with the Energy Star Home Program. This beats our last HERS Score by 14 points. This home will be 44% more efficient to operate than an equal home of normally built standards. A 5 STAR + is the highest rating currently available. Consider some of the benefits of building with a 100% Energy STAR Builder.
A home that earns the ENERGY STAR is significantly more efficient than a standard home. By purchasing an ENERGY STAR qualified home, you can have all the features you desire in your new home, plus better performance and lower utility bills- all while helping prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 as a voluntary partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers consumers and businesses energy-efficient solutions to save energy, save money, and help protect the environment for future generations.
More than 15,000 organizations, including over 6,500 of the nation’s home builders, are ENERGY STAR partners-committed to improving energy efficiency at home and at work. In 2008, Americans with the help of ENERGY STAR saved $19 billion on their utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 29 million vehicles.
WHAT MAKES A HOME ENERGY STAR? Homes that earn the ENERGY STAR are significantly more energy efficient than standard homes. ENERGY STAR builders achieve this high efficiency for you by selecting from a variety of features:
- TIGHT CONSTRUCTION AND DUCTS- Advanced techniques for sealing holes and cracks in the home’s “envelope” and in heating and cooling ducts help reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, pests, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while lowering utility and maintenance costs.
- EFFECTIVE INSULATION SYSTEMS- Properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, while using less energy. The result is lower utility costs and a quieter, more comfortable home.
- EFFICIENT HEATING AND COOLING EQUIPMENT- An energy-efficient, properly installed heating and cooling system uses less energy to operate, which reduces your utility bills. This system can also be quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of your home.
- HIGH PERFORMANCE WINDOWS- Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frame assemblies, to help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings.
- EFFICIENT PRODUCTS- Your home may also be equipped with ENERGY STAR qualified products-lighting fixtures, compact florescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances-that offer additional energy savings.
- INDEPENDENT TESTING- While it’s easy to claim that homes are energy efficient, ENERGY STAR builder partners back that up with verification by an independent Home Energy Rater. The rater conducts on-site inspections and testing to verify the performance of the energy efficiency features in your home.
ENERGY STAR QUALIFIED HOMES HOME OWNER BENEFITS
ADDED CONFIDENCE- Home buying is complex enough without having to know all the details of energy-efficient construction. Instead, look for the government-backed ENERGY STAR to easily identify homes that are truly energy efficient. Find the house of your dreams and enjoy peace of mind knowing that it also meets rigorous energy efficiency guidelines set by EPA and verified by an independent Home Energy Rater.
LOWER OWNERSHIP COST- Compared with standard construction, ENERGY STAR qualified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating- delivering $200 to $400 in annual savings. Although these energy savings may seem small relative to the cost of monthly mortgage payments, no one likes to waste money. And over the 7 or 8 years that a typical buyer lives in a home, it can add up to thousands of dollars saved. Additional savings on maintenance can also be significant.
BETTER PERFORMANCE- BETTER PERFORMANCE- Properly installed energy-efficient improvements deliver better protection against cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pests, pollution, and noise. An ENERGY STAR qualified home helps ensure consistent temperatures between rooms, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability.
SMARTER INVESTMENT- To date, more than 6,500 home builders have partnered with EPA to construct nearly 940,000 ENERGY STAR qualified homes. By 2010, more than 1 million homes are expected to earn the ENERGY STAR. The trend is clear. By choosing a home with the ENERGY STAR, you can be confident that it will have an increasingly valued feature when the time comes to sell.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION- Energy used in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. Because ENERGY STAR qualified homes homes use less energy, they help prevent greenhouse gas emissions- an added benefit for today’s environmentally-conscious consumers looking for “green” choices.
Greater energy efficiency helps us all make the most of our energy resources, mitigates the impact of high energy prices, decreases the need for new power plants, lowers our reliance on energy imports, and reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution at the source.