To become a qualified ENERGY STAR builder, a builder must construct a home that meets energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These houses must be at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and contain additional efficient saving features that typically make new homes 20-30% more efficient than standard homes.
The ENERGY STAR label identifies a house having passed all efficiency guidelines. Builders realize that homebuyers are increasingly interested in the value of green homes and efficiency is the place to start. This is because the energy used to run the house is often from the burning of fossil fuels from power plants. The burning of fossil fuels contributes to smog, acid rain, and risks of global warming. That is why it is so important to use less energy which equals less air pollution. With these benefits, many homes builders are choosing to partner with ENERGY STAR. The best way to make sure a house is efficient is to look for the blue ES label, which is the government-backed symbol for efficiency.
Any homes that meet EPA’s guidelines and is three stories or less can earn the ES label including: single family, attached, manufactured homes, and low-rise multi-family homes, modular construction, log homes, and concrete homes. ENERGY STAR qualified new homes can contain a diversity of ‘tried-and-true’ efficient features that improved home quality, homeowner comfort, and lower energy demand while reduced air pollution.
Many home builders are realizing the benefits of building ES homes. For example D.R. Horton needed an edge to be successful in this challenging market. D.R Horton accomplished this by partnering with ENERGY STAR. They realized they must build the most efficient homes in the area to gain a leg up on the competition. This strategy not only made D.R Horton successful but benefited the homeowners’ as well with providing them efficient homes that saves them money on their monthly energy bill. Now D.R. Horton new homes feature 100 percent ENERGY STAR qualified fixture package!
Many ES home builders have been recognized for their energy efficient building processes. Aston Woods Homes won the 2009 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award and has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This award distinguishes the important contribution Ashton Woods Homes has made to energy-efficient construction and environmental protection by building more than 1,202 ENERGY STAR qualified homes last year. These 1,202 new homes will save homeowner about $537,294 on utility bills every year!
Another winner of the Leadership in Housing Award is SummerHill Homes. SummerHill Homes has committed to building energy efficient homes. With ENERGY STAR qualified new homes for sale offering new homebuyers all the features they want in a home as well as the benefits of a green home. Plus energy-saving features come standard with SummerHill Homes like, energy efficient insulation systems, energy efficient windows, tight construction and ducts, properly-sized and installed heating and cooling systems, third-party verification of energy performance, and energy efficient products. Plus not to mention that such appliances qualify for an energy tax credit!
ES builders are realizing the value of adding energy efficient products within the new home. Pulte Homes new communities now include ES appliances as a standard in each new home for sale. According to the Department of Energy, all Energy Star appliances use 10-15% less energy and water then standard models when certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Appliances and lighting account for more than one-third of the average homeowner’s utility bill according to the DOE. So including energy efficient appliances can translate into a considerable amount of savings. In Las Vegas, Pulte new homes for sale features LEED certification, is built under the Environments for Living® – Green Certified program, and is equipped with solar power panel roofs!
Many home builders are making sure to be ES qualified with energy cost on the rise, but one builder has been building green homes before it was trendy. With over a decade of building new green homes for sale and energy-efficient new homes, Pardee Homes has been a leader in building green homes with more than 24 LivingSmart and 14 California Green Builder-certified new communities (no wounder why California is one of the top Green building states). Starting in 1998 when Pardee Homes helped pioneer the EPA’s Energy Star® program, by building energy-efficient homes that exceeded code by 15% or more. In 2009 Pardee Homes pledged 100% commitment to building “LivingSmart” homes in all future developments