Green building, or sustainable building, is now a mainstream residential construction practice, no longer just an ecological consciousness statement without widespread adoption. Quality residential builders are making a vital commitment to environmental stewardship and responding to new home buyers’ demands for a responsible approach to residential building for the future. Both builders and homebuyers desire a better quality product that protects the environment for future generations.
Builders may choose to participate in a number of different programs, but, regardless, all major programs have one common denominator – greater energy efficiency. This efficiency translates to a reduction in your energy costs and a more responsible use of our energy resources. Georgia Power’s ENERGY STAR Home Program is one of the most respected programs that home builders use. Since becoming an ENERGY STAR partner in 2005, Georgia Power has been working with builders around the state to promote energy efficiency in the new home market.
You may see the ENERGY STAR logo but not know what it means. Created in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it identifies more than 50 different product categories that are energy efficient and offer the features, quality and personal comfort that today’s consumers expect. Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label include appliances, lighting, consumer electronics, HVAC systems, and, yes, even entire homes. The ENERGY STAR label on a new home means that it is significantly more efficient than a standard home.
ENERGY STAR qualified homes comply with three main requirements for overall construction and require that participating Builders:
How do you know which of two similar homes is more energy efficient?
When comparing two similar homes you must know more about their construction than you can discern by looking at the outside. The aspects of the home that make it ENERGY STAR qualified are generally those items that you cannot see, such as tight duct work for the home’s heating and cooling system, high performing insulation behind the walls and in the attic, and the energy efficient quality of the windows. Most of us take these items for granted or do not really give them any consideration when making our decisions on a new home purchase. But with a home that has earned the ENERGY STAR label, the purchaser does not have to worry about those items because they have been independently verified that they meet a higher standard.
To learn more about the benefits of an ENERGY STAR home, contact an ENERGY STAR builder in your area or visit www.georgiapower.com/energystar.