Energy Star

Green Buildings Get a Loan Break

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in Energy Star

Fannie Mae, the largest provider of financing for multifamily projects in the country, says that it has started giving loan discounts on properties with a green-building certification.

Government Ups the Energy Star Ante

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in Department of Energy

A market share of 5 percent may not sound like a lot, but to Sam Rashkin, getting the Department of Energy's "Zero Energy Ready Home" label on that many houses each year could be the tipping point for high-efficiency building in the U.S. Rashkin, chief architect in the Building Technologies Office of DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, says the Zero Energy Ready Home (ZER) program is now entering its third year with improved prospects of turning small numbers into much bigger ones.

Think Home Buyers Won’t Pay Extra for Energy Efficiency?

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-1117568 in energy premium

According to a national survey of 116 single-family home builders, developers, and remodelers performed by McGraw Hill in 2013, 73% of those surveyed said that home buyers will pay more for a green home. This is up from 61% in 2011.

Energy Star Program to Include Clothes Dryers

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in appliance

For the first time, the government's Energy Star program will include clothes dryers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced. Until now, the EPA's Energy Star program had excluded the appliances even though they use an estimated 6% of all residential energy. How come? The energy efficiency of different makes and models didn't vary appreciably. (For more information on this topic, see Alternatives to Clothes Dryers.)

Will the Energy Star Homes Program Survive Version 3?

Posted on April 21,2015 by ab3 in energy efficiency program

Back in 2009, I attended a webinar given by Sam Rashkin, head of the Energy Star new homes program at the time. (He has since left the EPA for the DOE.) He explained the changes coming in the program as they prepared for the transition from what we now call Version 2 to the new Version 3.

A House Becomes a Classroom

Posted on April 21,2015 by ScottG in Energy Star

There was just one thing that Jon Flood didn't like about the old houses he and his wife had lived in over the years: it took too much energy to keep them comfortable.

A Failure That Stalls the Certification of Many Energy Star Homes

Posted on April 21,2015 by ab3 in bath fan

Let me tell you a little story about the day that Jeffrey went to test several Habitat for Humanity houses that are going for certification in the Energy Star new homes program (the one in the photo here was not one of them). This was a couple of weeks ago, but I wrote down the numbers he told me because I think you may be somewhat surprised.

What’s Happening to All the Green Building Programs?

Posted on April 21,2015 by CarlSeville in EarthCraft

Green home certification programs are starting to reach a level of maturity. At the national level, LEED for Homes has established itself as the national industry leader, at least from a branding standpoint. NAHB’s National Green Building Standard (NGBS) has a growing following but, in my opinion, is still struggling to gain broad industry acceptance.

Energy Star Homes Must Comply with Version 3 Guidelines Now

Posted on April 21,2015 by ab3 in energy efficiency

On the 1st of this month, the Energy Star new homes program moved fully (well, almost) into the much more rigorous set of guidelines called Version 3. There's been a lot of discussion on the the transition for the past three years, when the Energy Star team at the U.S. EPA first started vetting the update with HERS raters and home builders. In case you've ignored or haven't heard much about it yet, here's a quick overview of what's new:

The Green Architects Chat With Allison Bailes

Posted on April 21,2015 by ChrisBriley in Allison Bailes

Allison Bailes was in town to talk to the Building Science Discussion Group, and Phil and I thought we'd grab him to share a conversation with our listeners. (For more on the Building Science Discussion Group, see “Steve's Garage.”)

Efficiency Programs Struggle to Stay Ahead of Energy Codes

Posted on April 21,2015 by ab3 in energy code

Smart people in the home-building industry have a saying about codes: A code-built house is the worst house allowed by law. The implication behind that statement is that if all you're doing is meeting the code, you're probably short-changing the people who will live in the house. The folks at the International Code Council (ICC) are doing their best to make sure that that barely-legal house is worth living in.

Energy Star Version 3

Posted on April 21,2015 by Amy Hook in Energy Star

Planning is an essential component to the new Energy Star Version 3. Not only is Energy Star Version 3 a component of the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, but it is also rapidly becoming the go-to energy performance standard for most federal and local funding sources.

Book Review: Retooling the U.S. Housing Industry

Posted on April 21,2015 by CarlSeville in energy efficiency

Sam Rashkin, until very recently the head of Energy Star for Homes, recently published Retooling The US Housing industry, a book of his opinions on, and suggestions of how to improve, the new home industry. The book is a fairly quick read with a great history of housing, and a good analysis of how the U.S. home building industry evolved to its current state.

Let There Be Light — on the GU24 base for CFLs and LEDs

Posted on April 21,2015 by Peterbilt in affordable housing

Are we really ready to say goodbye to incandescent light bulbs? The ones that give off 10% light and 90% heat? The ones with the shortest life span? The ones that have the lowest initial price, don’t flicker, are always instant on-instant off, and give off the “right” color and quality of light? Not so fast and not so easy… We have been here before: 2- and 4-pin CFL fixtures!

Energy Star’s ‘Most Efficient’ Appliance Label

Posted on April 21,2015 by Fretboard in Energy Star

In early May, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it had reviewed stakeholder comments on a pilot program designed to “identify and advance” products whose energy efficiency is, as the EPA puts it, “top tier.” Called Energy Star “Most Efficient,” the program focuses on seven product categories in what are, at the moment, a limited number of configurations and sizes: clothes washers, air-source heat pumps, central air conditioners, furnaces, geothermal heat pumps, refrigerator-freezers, and televisions.

‘GreenPoint Rated’: A Green Label for California Homes

Posted on April 21,2015 by Fretboard in Build It Green

With a relatively stringent building code already in place, California seems to have a running start in cultivating homeowner interest in green building and remodeling. But it still doesn’t hurt to further highlight the merits of energy-efficient homes, tout their environmental virtues, and, when projects are complete and their green features verified, certify the results in a way that homeowners can market to future buyers.

Disappointing Energy Savings for Energy Star Homes

Posted on April 21,2015 by user-756436 in energy savings

If you’re interested in residential energy efficiency, you’re probably familiar with the marketing pitch of the EPA’s Energy Star Homes program. Among the program’s claims:

Green Building Programs: Time for a Do-Over?

Posted on April 21,2015 by CarlSeville in BPI

I’ve been involved with green building certification programs for about 10 years now, starting with my work with Southface and the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association in developing the EarthCraft Renovation program.

The New Congress vs. Green

Posted on April 21,2015 by Fretboard in Congress

Political theater is never in short supply in Washington D.C., but the new majority in the House of Representatives has been staging particularly exuberant – if, at this point, largely symbolic – displays of Republican policymaking, and Senate Republicans, though still outnumbered by Democrats, have been cheerfully pitching bills aimed at undoing many of the energy policies implemented over the past two years, including weatherization efforts and the Energy Star program.

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