By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC
President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter
To ensure that today’s homebuilders are building the homes that will become the best investments most Americans will make in their lifetimes as well as the cornerstones of their family’s futures, both homebuilders and the National Association of Home Builders regularly poll both new homeowners and prospective homebuyers on their wants and needs. And every year, two items always make the list: protecting the environment and saving on energy costs.
Today, there is good news on that front: Energy Star - a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reduce consumer energy costs and protect the environment through energy - efficient products and practices. Whether you are purchasing a state-of-the-art new home, remodeling to make a home more competitive on the real estate market or just want to make an existing home more comfortable, convenient and environmentally -friendly, you will want to get to know Energy Star.
According to the program’s website www.energystar.gov, American businesses and consumers have saved billions of dollars on their utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from millions of cars through the program. Household products that have earned the Energy Star rating meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and DOE and can save owners reduce their energy costs and their ‘carbon footprint’ while keeping their homes as comfortable as ever.
If you are considering remodeling to make your current home ‘greener’, Energy Star products are a key component of'green' remodeling which involves incorporating sustainable, durable and healthier designs into the renovation of existing homes to improve their energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality.
For new homebuyers, Energy Star-qualified homes are those that meet EPA energy efficiency guidelines and are 15 to 30 percent more energy efficient that a typical home. Energy Star-qualified homes can include a variety of energy - efficient features that contribute to improved home quality and homeowner comfort. For example, insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, reduced energy use and increased comfort. High performance windows employ advanced technologies to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
For homeowners who are remodeling existing homes to make them more-energy efficient and environmentally-friendly, a great place to start is to consider replacing older fixtures and appliances with Energy Star products and appliances such as lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines. If you are considering remodeling to give your current home a competitive edge on the real estate market, Energy Star products are a key component of'green' remodeling. Not only will choosing Energy Star products and appliances help you save money on utility bills, the program offers several incentives for homeowners upgrading with Energy Star products or homebuyers purchasing an Energy Star- rated home. The Energy Star program offers consumers lower borrowing costs financing the purchase of an Energy Star - rated home through its mortgage program and there are state and local incentives available at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) at its http://dsireusa.org website. Funded by the DOE, DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
So, whether you are considering a new home or just hoping to make your existing home more comfortable and energy efficient, Energy Star can make yourbest investment even better.
The BIA Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of home ownership. For additional information on homebuying, home improvements or the benefits of homeownership, go to www.biabuild.com on the web.