"Consumers don't have to limit their smart energy choices to energy efficient cars and appliances," said Bob Meyers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) principal deputy assistant administrator for Air & Radiation. "EPA is pleased to see builders in so many states leading the effort to offer their customers high-efficiency, low-emission choices in new homes."
Nearly 200,000 new homes nationwide earned the Energy Star in 2006, bringing the total number of Energy Star qualified homes across the nation to almost 750,000. To date, said the EPA, these homes have locked in annual savings of more than $180 million for homeowners by saving over 1 billion kWh of electricity and 100 million therms of natural gas.
According to the EPA, homes that earn the Energy Star offer homeowners all the features they want in a new home, plus energy-efficiency improvements that deliver better performance, greater comfort, and lower utility bills, all while helping to protect the environment.
To earn the Energy Star, homes must be independently verified as meeting EPA's guidelines for energy efficiency. These homes are least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code, and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20 to 30 percent more efficient than standard homes.
Home energy use accounts for nearly 17 percent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 21 percent of energy consumption nationwide, said the EPA. For more than a decade, the agency has been working with the housing industry, utilities, states, and independent energy efficiency home ratings professionals to bring increased energy efficiency to the homebuilding industry. Today, more than 3,500 builders are committed to building Energy Star qualified homes. And there are Energy Star qualified homes in every state across the country.
For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/homesindex.