Wednesday, February 16, 2011

KB Homes Partners with RESNET

In the USA Today's money section, the cover article was about KB Homes, a national builder who builds has a large presence here in North Carolina.  They plan to partner with RESNET to have their energy rating solely based on the HERS index score.  The article does not completely lay out how the program will work, nor does the RESNET website.  However, it must be a cost effective idea because RESNET lists 4-6 other large nation wide builders that they are in negotiations with to also sign onto the program.   

Is this the end of ENERGY STAR?  I personally do not think so but it might be a hiccup for the EPA's popular program. 

Builders offer MPG-like home efficiency labels




By KB Homes
Just as cars are sold with miles-per-gallon labels, more new homes this year will sport labels estimating monthly energy bills.

KB Home, one of the nation's largest builders, announced Monday its plans to have an EPG (Energy Performance Guide) on each of its U.S. homes by the end of this month, and other production builders plan to follow.
"This is a game changer... Once it's out there, everyone will do it," says Jeffrey Mezger, the company' CEO. He says consumers will now understand that KB's homes, all of which meet Energy Star standards, will "perform better than resales down the street."
The push for an MPG-like label comes as U.S. home builders seek a competitive edge against low-price foreclosures, and as the U.S. government develops an efficiency score for existing homes.
"We're rolling that (label) out this year," says Jim Petersen of Michigan-based PulteGroup Inc., which includes Pulte Homes, Centex and Del Webb. He doesn't have a specific timetable but expects California, Phoenix and Las Vegas will be among the first markets to feature the label.
Meritage Homes has been marketing all its homes, which are built to Energy Star standards, with such a label since 2009, said C.R. Herro, the company's vice president of environmental affairs.
Lennar Corp. is taking steps as well to offer the label, says Steve Baden, executive director of RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network, a private, non-profit industry group that has developed the label as part of its Home Energy Rating System (HERS).
The label features a home's HERS score, determined by an independent auditor, that shows its energy efficiency (the lower the score, the better) and projects utility costs. Its look may vary lightly by builder, but its data are based on a common standard that is used by the U.S. government.
While this label applies only to new homes, the U.S. Department of Energy is developing a home energy score for existing homes. DOE is beginning pilot projects as early as next week in 11 U.S. communities and will launch a national standard this fall, says spokeswoman Jen Stutsman. DOE will rate homes on a scale of 0 to 10 (the best) and will estimate how much money consumers will save annually by making certain upgrades. It will not estimate monthly utility costs.
The U.S. government currently requires its new Energy Star homes earn a HERS score of 85 or lower. This means they're at least 15% more efficient than homes built to a 2006 international code, which would earn a score of 100. Existing homes score an average of 130, while homes that produce as much energy as they use score a zero.
Some homes that meet DOE's Builders Challenge with HERS scores of 70 or less already carry efficiency labels, but the move by KB Home will increase the number of U.S. homes offering them.
How much energy a home actually uses depends on the occupants' lifestyle, so the label is no guarantee. "It's a comparison tool," says Petersen, adding: "Everybody uses their home differently."

18 comments:

  1. This piece of news is going to be great for the environment. It's an ingenious marriage that should be mimicked by other housing and alternative energy organizations.

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  2. It's good to hear the RESNET partnerships have been growing in number and reach. After KB Home, RESNET partnered with Passive House Institute. The two partners will be adopting a uniform calculation of carbon savings for buildings built.

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  3. I am expecting that this partnership will benefit more people. This should cut electricity bills in the future.

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  4. In order to make your garage energy efficient, you must have the proper material and installation, purchase an insulated garage door. Insulation is applied to hold heat in during the winter and to radiate heat away in the summer.

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  5. The partnership will probably help their business in a lot of ways. I believe it's a good move and I hope they will do great stuff together.

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  6. I like seeing positive developments for energy-efficient homes. These days, the best real investments are the long-term ones.

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  8. Around 20 percent of a home's energy loss can be blamed on leaky windows. That's why it is important to have them repaired or replaced. Aside from doors and appliances, you can also choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows to reduce energy bills.

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  9. Another way to create a energy-efficient home is with the use of concrete radiant floors. Most residences with radiant floors achieve energy savings of 10 percent to 30 percent.

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  10. I'd like to see KB Homes include home security a priority in their home constructions.

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  11. Concrete radiant floors are perfect for home insulation and could really help you keep your homes at normal temperatures through seasons.

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  12. This joint venture will most probably create a new way of business. It will surely be very beneficial to most Americans. Furthermore, EPG for each house in the US is such an excellent idea.
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  13. I usually consider security before buying a house. I think this company offers a wide selection of quality and secured houses.
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  14. Safety and security are the 2 most important aspects of every home. Therefore, I must agree that the joint ventures of those companies will certainly give positive results to many citizens.

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  15. To make your home as secure as possible, it is important to ensure that you have a well constructed walls, floors and other parts. This will assure you that no accidents related to falling debris will occur.

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  16. One way to save money and be eco friendly is to make use of solar panels. Unfortunately, not many can afford them especially in today's economy. I guess it boils down to the discipline of the homeowner.

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  17. @deidra: I have seen a house for sale that uses solar panels. It's a little expensive though.

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