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National Home Builders Commit to EPA’s New Guidelines for Energy Star Qualified Homes

Over 400 builders pledge to develop the next generation of Energy Star qualified homes in 2012

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized the leading builders across the nation who have already committed to meeting the updated and more rigorous requirements for new homes that earn the Energy Star label in 2012. With the next generation of Energy Star qualified homes, builders can offer homebuyers updated features that deliver better value, quality, and comfort while continuing to protect the environment. Since 1995, about 1.2 million new homes have earned EPA's Energy Star, representing savings of nearly $350 million on utility bills while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to approximately 450,000 vehicles.

"EPA has raised the bar for what families can expect when they buy a new home that has earned the Energy Star," said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy. "Homebuyers can be assured when they purchase an Energy Star qualified home, they can find the quality and features they want in a new home, with even lower utility bills and greater benefits for the environment."

More than 400 builders have already agreed to develop Energy Star qualified homes in 2012. These include six of the country's largest builders, Ashton Woods Homes, Beazer Homes, KB Home, Meritage Homes, M/I Homes and NVR, Inc, who have all made corporate commitments to meeting the new requirements.

Under the new requirements, homes that earn the Energy Star label will be at least 15 percent more efficient than homes built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). They will also feature additional measures that deliver a total energy-efficiency improvement of up to 30 percent compared to typical new homes. The additional features include: 

  • A detailed package of home envelope air sealing, properly installed insulation, and high-performance windows to deliver comfort, durability, and lower utility bills
  • A high-efficiency heating, cooling, and ventilation system designed and installed for optimal performance
  • A complete water and moisture management package to protect roofs, walls, and foundations
  • Energy Star certified lighting and appliances that help reduce monthly utility bills
  • Third-party verification, with independent inspections and testing by a certified Home Energy Rater

Energy Star was started by EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved about $18 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 33 million vehicles. 

More information about Energy Star new homes and updated guidelines: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=next_generation.ng_qualified_new_homes

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