EPA Finalizes WaterSense New Home Specification
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification, which works with other voluntary green building programs such as the National Green Building Standard, Energy Star and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. Under the new specification, builders can now become WaterSense partners and begin constructing homes to earn the WaterSense label.
Designed to use about 20% less water than typical new homes, WaterSense-labeled new homes will be independently inspected and certified by EPA-licensed certification providers. These new homes will feature WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures, Energy Star-qualified appliances (if installed), water-efficient landscaping and an efficient hot water delivery system.
Residential water use currently accounts for more than half of the publicly supplied water in the United States; about 1.27 million new homes are built each year. According to the EPA, if all new homes built in 2010 were WaterSense-labeled, it would save more than 12 billion gallons of water per year and the homeowners would save more than $130 million in utility bills.
Compared to a typical new home, a WaterSense-labeled home is said to save a family at least $100 per year in water, sewer and energy bills; compared to an existing older home, a family could save more than $200 per year on utilities. Learn more about the 2009 WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification at www.epa.gov/WaterSense/spaces/new_homes.html.