Buying a home with an Energy Star label can result in the following benefits:
Home buying is complex enough without having to know all the details of energy-efficient construction. Instead, look for the Energy Star label 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 strict energy efficiency guidelines.
Lower Ownership Cost
Compared with standard homes, Energy Star qualified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating-delivering $200 to $400 in annual savings. Over the average 7 to 8 years you may live in your home, this adds up to thousands of dollars saved on utility bills. Additional savings on maintenance can also be substantial. Financing your home purchase using an energy efficient mortgage can also lead to savings.
Properly installed energy-efficient improvements deliver better protection against cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pollution, and noise. An energy-efficient home helps ensure consistent temperatures between and across rooms, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability.
To date, more than 5,000 home builders have partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to construct more than 840,000 Energy Star qualified homes. By the end of the decade, more than 2 million homes are expected to earn the Energy Star label. The trend is clear. By choosing an Energy Star home, you can be confident that it will have an increasingly valued feature when the time comes to sell.
Did you know that your home can be a greater source of pollution than your car? In fact, 16 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are generated from the energy used in houses nationwide. Energy used in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and global warming. Simply put, the less energy we use in our homes, the less air pollution we generate.
What Homebuyers Should Look For
Energy efficiency is the place to start. That’s because the energy used in homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and risks of global climate change. So, the less energy used, the less air pollution generated. And the easy way to make sure a new home is energy efficient is to look for the blue Energy Star mark, the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.
Typical Features in Colorado Energy Star Homes
- An Efficient Home Envelope with effective levels of wall, floor, and attic insulation that is properly installed and comprehensive air barriers.
- Efficient Air Distribution where ducts are installed with minimum air leakage and are effectively insulated.
- Efficient Equipment for heating, cooling, and water heating.
- Efficient Lighting including fixtures that earn the Energy Star label.
- Efficient Appliances including Energy Star qualified dishwashers, refrigerators, and clothes washers.
These energy efficiency improvements save homeowners money—about $200 to $400 per year on utility bills. More importantly, monthly energy savings can easily exceed any additional mortgage cost for the energy efficiency improvements, resulting in a positive cash-flow from the first day of home ownership. As a result, the cost-effectiveness of Energy Star improvements can help offset additional costs associated with other green home features.
What comes after energy efficiency?
Homebuyers can also look for the Energy Star Indoor Air Package label—a new specification developed by EPA to address the indoor environment component of green building. Homes that achieve this level of excellence are first qualified as Energy Star, and then also incorporate more than 60 additional home design and construction features to control moisture, chemical exposure, radon, pests, ventilation, and filtration. Together, these features help protect qualified homes and their residents from mold, chemicals, combustion gases, and other airborne pollutants.
Completing the green home picture
Through Energy Star qualified homes and the Energy Star Indoor Air Plus Package, homebuyers can address two critical green home elements. Then, look to the wide variety of available green home programs to complete the picture with water-efficient products, renewable energy technologies, waste reduction, recycling, and sustainable land development practices.