Texas Leads the Way in Energy Efficient Home Building

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According to numbers recently released by the EPA, more than 29,000 ENERGY STAR homes were built in Texas in 2010. This represents almost a quarter of all homes constructed to the popular EPA standard across the nation.

These numbers, which include an increase in ENERGY STAR’s total market share, are not a surprise. Neither is Texas’s continued domination of the market. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues into 2012 as the program moves towards its Version 3.0 specifications.

A full 25 percent of all single-family homes built in the U.S. in 2010 earned Energy Star qualification, up from 21 percent the previous year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Since 1995, about 1.2 million new homes have earned the EPA’s Energy Star designation, which represents savings of nearly $350 million on utility bills and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from more than 450,000 vehicles, according to the agency.

“These builders understand that energy efficiency and other green features will be the hallmark of almost all residential construction when home building comes back; and in the meantime, they want to set themselves apart from the competition,” says Kevin Morrow, senior manager of green building programs at NAHB.

“However, the overall numbers are still strikingly low, which speaks not only to the state of the home building business but to how important it is to correctly value these features in appraisals so that both the home builder and the buyer get their money’s worth,” he says.

“New homes that earn EPA’s Energy Star seal of approval rise above the competition by offering a better quality and value while allowing home owners to do their part to keep our communities clean,” says Gina McCarthy, the agency’s assistant administrator for air and radiation.

In 2010, the EPA said, the share of new single-family homes receiving the Energy Star label exceeded 25 percent in 16 states — Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Vermont.

Energy Star requirements for energy efficiency in homes include:

• Effective insulation systems

• High-performance windows

• Quality construction to reduce leaks and drafts

• Efficient heating and cooling equipment

• Energy Star-qualified lighting and appliances

Energy Star was introduced in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

More than 20,000 organizations are Energy Star partners who are committed to improving energy efficiency in homes, products and businesses.

More information on the share of homes in the marketplace qualifying for Energy Star is available here.

More information on the Energy Star program can be found here.

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