A Green Home Begins with ENERGY STAR® Blue
One way that the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) is leading Colorado to a New Energy Economy is through its ENERGY STAR® New Homes program.
The first phase of the program began in 2007 and ran until 2011, including a partnership of more than 120 local governments, community organizations, utilities, homebuilder associations, homebuilders and Home Energy Rating partners. The partners worked together to:
Support statewide construction and testing of new energy efficient single-family homes built to ENERGY STAR® standards
Increase consumer awareness of energy efficiency options in new residential construction
Actively support all participating Colorado ENERGY STAR® homebuilders
At the end of the 2011, over 45% of all new homes in Colorado earned the ENERGY STAR New Homes label, compared to only 8% before the program stated in 2007. With the infrastructure in place of trained builders and energy raters, the CEO has shifted its focus from training to promoting the consumer benefits of owning an ENERGY STAR New Home by offering the ENERGY STAR Mortgage.
About ENERGY STAR® New Homes
To earn the ENERGY STAR® label, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code and include additional energy saving features that typically make them 20-30% more efficient than standard homes. The home’s actual energy performance must be certified by an independent Home Energy Rater who is responsible for conducting onsite testing and inspections of installed energy efficiency measures such as insulation, high performance windows, building envelope, duct systems, and efficient heating and cooling equipment.
It’s not just about saving money on utility bills. Homes built under the ENERGY STAR label are more durable using higher grade equipment, providing water management, and improved windows. ENERGY STAR New Homes can also carry the indoor airPLUS label, which is a sign that the home is healthy for your family!
How do I find ENERGY STAR New Homes?
With many builders building to the ENERGY STAR standard, look for the ENERGY STAR logo on their materials or just ask. Want to do a little detective work? It’s easy to recognize a new home that has met ENERGY STAR® guidelines. Just look for the blue ENERGY STAR® label that’s displayed on the electrical panel in all certified new homes.
For more information please visit the ENERGY STAR® website.
Colorado ENERGY STAR Mortgage
The CEO has partnered with the Bank of Colorado and Wells Fargo to offer the ENERGY STAR Mortgage, as an extra incentive to buy an ENERGY STAR New Home. The Colorado ENERGY STAR Mortgage provides a loan benefit to Colorado resident homebuyers/homeowners through 1 discount point in the form of an interest rate buy-down. Loan details and amounts will be assessed by the lender directly to ensure that all lending guidelines are followed. The maximum benefit issued will be based on no more than a $500,000.00 loan amount which equates to a $5,000 benefit ($500,000 x 1%)