What is an ENERGY STAR Certified Home?
If you bought a home a decade ago you probably got a great price, and the term “ENERGY STAR certified” may not have come up in conversation with your real estate agent. With each passing year, concern over the environmental impact of home energy use grows. Builders are now strongly encouraged to construct homes in responsible ways. One way of doing that is to build homes that are extremely energy efficient.
Buyers prefer homes that are energy efficient, but it’s not always easy to gauge efficiency from looks alone. Even the age of the house might not be the best indicator. Luckily there are designations like the ENERGY STAR certification that tell buyers a home has above average energy efficiency.
Who Decides Which Houses Are ENERGY STAR Certified Homes?
Many consumers mistakenly believe ENERGY STAR is its own department or program. ENERGY STAR is actually a label or symbol. It signifies that a product meets energy efficiency standards that are higher than average. The blue and white ENERGY STAR logo makes it easy to know if a product is an energy saver or a potential energy hog.
The ENERGY STAR certification is awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That is the federal agency overseeing the ENERGY STAR initiatives. The EPA has made it so that ENERGY STAR certification applies across the board. It’s used in the commercial, residential and industrial sectors.
What Makes a Home ENERGY STAR Eligible?
Many different products can be awarded the ENERGY STAR certification, from a single lightbulb all the way up to the house where the lightbulb is installed. In the residential sector, there are both new construction and existing home programs. All homes have to meet certain benchmarks to be given the ENERGY STAR certification.
More Energy Efficient
One thing that many ENERGY STAR homes share in common is they are built to be energy efficient from the ground up. An ENERGY STAR home must be 10% more efficient than modern homes built to code. Furthermore, they must be at least 20% more energy efficient than the average home.
Better Than Average Quality, Comfort and Performance
It’s not enough for a home to use less energy. In order to get the ENERGY STAR label the home has to also offer better than average quality, comfort and performance. In other words, quality, comfort and performance can’t be sacrificed in the name of energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR Home Statistics
Here are some interesting facts about ENERGY STAR programs in the residential sector and how much of an impact they make.
- 2.2 million homes are ENERGY STAR certified.
- Over 3,000 ENERGY STAR partners build, develop and manufacture homes.
- 950,000 homeowners have improved their home’s energy efficiency with the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.
- 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity was saved since 1992 thanks to ENERGY STAR programs.
- $450 billion has been saved in energy costs since 1992.
- 3 billion kWh of electricity and $410 million in energy costs were saved in 2019 thanks to the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction program.
At Spark Energy we share the same goal as the EPA – to help you save energy. Our fixed rate energy plans provide price predictability, and our resources help you conserve more so you spend less. Find out why millions of Americans trust Spark Energy with their electricity and gas needs.