Why is Energy Star Important for a Consumer
Lots of us have seen the "Energy Star" logo on household items, but energy star is also relevant to homes. Energy Star applies to homes in much the same way that it does to appliances, it certifies your home is built to a certain standard, but what does this mean?
Energy Star Homes first came on the scene 25 years ago, just as energy efficiency was starting to be an accepted practice. It certifies that homes are built to a government-approved, energy-saving standard. This standard means that the house must have, sufficient insulation, low energy lighting, and have airflow systems appropriate for the area where it's built. An Energy Star Home must be at least 10% more energy efficient than a house built to convention building codes, with most rating 20% or better.
These are not just numbers plucked out of the air though. An Energy Star home has to pass a rigorous, independent inspection process that confirms it was built to the Energy Star standard before given the seal of approval. In 2017 alone, Energy Star homes saved 3 billion kWh of electricity, which meant a cost saving of around $400 million nationally. The reduction in energy meant a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with the homes saving about 3 million tons of harmful gases. Energy Star homes are not just cheaper to run but have environmental benefits.
If you have an older home, don't worry. Energy Star standards can function retrospectively. There are several Energy Star programs to update older homes. Energy Star has the "Energy Star Verified HVAC Installers" certification to ensure that contractors are doing heating and ventilation work to energy-efficient standards. They also have Energy Star Home Advisors who can give impartial advice on how to improve your home's energy performance. "Energy Star Pro," is an evaluation tool for 3rd party contractors to use to evaluate home performance and verify older homes meet the newer, stricter energy standards.
Energy Star is the gold standard of energy-efficient homebuilding. It shows that it was built well, has passed an inspection and will save the homeowner money in the long run while benefitting the environment. A home that saves both money and the environment is a dream for most buyers, so look for the Energy Star logo when purchasing a house.