The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the first WaterSense-labeled homes in the country. The program is helping homebuyers cut their water and energy use while at the same time saving money on utility bills. Four WaterSense-labeled new homes have been built by KB Home in Roseville, Calif., and will help families save an average of 10,000 gallons of water and at least $100 on utility costs each year.

Since signing on as the first national builder to partner with WaterSense, KB Home has agreed to build three communities of homes that will earn the WaterSense label, which will be the first in the nation to meet WaterSense criteria for newly built homes. Each house includes WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures, an efficient hot water delivery system, water-efficient landscape design, and other water-saving and energy-efficient features.

“To meet the environmental and economic needs of homes and communities, it’s important that we’re doing everything we can to conserve water and energy, and shrink costs for American consumers,” said EPA AdministratorLisa P. Jackson. “The construction of the first WaterSense-labeled homes, and the plans to build more, mark the beginning of an innovative approach that gives homeowners the chance to cut their water and energy bills and protect a vital environmental resource.”

Each WaterSense-labeled new home is independently inspected and certified to ensure the EPA’s criteria are met for both water efficiency and performance. A WaterSense-labeled new home is built to use about 20 percent less water than a typical new home.

The EPA estimates that if the approximately 500,000 new homes built last year had met WaterSense criteria, the homes would save Americans 5 billion gallons of water and more than $50 million in utility bills annually.

WaterSenseis a partnership program sponsored by the EPA that seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water.