A study of 30 Michigan homes built in 2005 to Energy Star standards shows significant energy reduction.

One of the Habitat for Humanity Energy Star homes in Michigan. Former President Jimmy Carter (center, in red shirt) and former First Lady Rosalyn Carter are pictured with workers who helped build the Energy Star home, part of the Jimmy Carter Work Project.

In a report released by Detroit-based WARM Training Center, a study of 30 new homes built in 2005 to Energy Start standards resulted in a 52 percent energy savings over standard new construction. This equates to a savings of about $1,500 a year.

The homes were built as part of Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work project. The WARM Training Center consulted with the Habitat for Humanity of Detroit to review their home designs and train the construction crew. After completion, the homes were certified as Energy Star homes.

In 2006, WARM analyzed the DTE Energy bills of the homeowners for a year to determine the actual energy usage of the homes. This is the first time the energy savings of a collection of homes in Michigan has been analyzed following a major build to Energy Star standards.

These homes used basement insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and careful air sealing, as well as energy-efficient lighting and appliances.

National Energy Star figures show that Energy Star homes typically use 30 percent less energy than standard-built homes.

For more information, visit www.warmtraining.org.