New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

How much energy does an average home use? | Raleigh Green Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 @ 08:04 AM

How much energy does an average American home use?

How Much Will I Spend on Electricity in North Carolina?

According to the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy:

In 2010, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,496 kWh, an average of 958 kilowatthours (kWh) per month.

Energy Efficient Homes | Energy Efficient Home Builders

What does that mean, in practical terms?

North Carolina residents had an average monthly bill of $125.20, based on the 2010 census data and calculated as of November 2011. Read these facts on the EIA website, here.

For many homes, this may not factor in the cost of heating the home, as gas or propane run furnaces have been common for many years.

This also averages the cost for small apartments and large homes together, so may not be a full picture of the cost for a typical single family home. 

What Affects the Cost of Energy in a North Carolina Home?

 - A home's energy efficiency rating (efficient heating/cooling equipment, tight construction/ducts, high-performance windows, etc): new homes certified by programs like ENERGY STAR have guarenteed lower energy costs.

 - The size of a home: more square footage = more space to heat, cool, and seal.

 - The price of oil: oil prices not only affect the cost of heating your home if you have a gas furnace, but it also affects the cost of generating electricity.

 - State or Federal tax credits

 - Energy provider costs: Duke Energy and Progress Energy are two of the largest energy providers in North Carolina.

How can I save money on electricity in my new NC home?

Consider homes with energy saving measures like:

- Better construction practices (even a home that's 5 years old has been built to a much lower energy code than today's new homes, but overall efficiency still depends on the expertise of the home builder)

- Tankless or solar water heaters

- Spray foam insulation

- Superior Wall insulated wall panels in basements

- Energy Star rated lighting, light bulbs, and appliances

- Sealed Crawlspace

and many other ideas.

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

Energy Efficient New Homes | Energy Efficient Home Builders

Tags: green builders raleigh, solar cost, green home builders triangle, energy efficient homes

Green Home Building - How to Create a Green Kitchen

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 @ 11:09 AM

How to Build a Sustainably Green Kitchen

Green Ideas for your Raleigh New Home

The following article is a guest column, courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Agency, supplying premium Brooklyn Apartments.

Everyone is jumping on the environmental bandwagon, wanting to find ways to reduce his or her carbon footprint and help make the planet healthy for future generations. If you own a home it can be difficult to decide where to begin.

Most families live in the kitchen, and most of your energy costs are generated there, too. It only makes sense to begin “greening” your home in the most popular room in the house.


Appliances

The refrigerator is the biggest energy consumer in your home. It runs and cycles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When it’s time to replace your refrigerator, consider downsizing. Many of us have much larger refrigerator/freezers than we really need. A smaller unit will save you money.

Also look into energy-rated appliances. They may cost more initially, but the energy savings will pay for them in the long run.

Energy Efficient Gas Stove

While you’re at it, get rid of the extra machine in the garage.

Make sure your fridge is in good working order. If you notice unusual ice buildup in the freezer or you have to crank the dial to keep it cold, have it looked at and repaired or replaced.

Improperly working machines must work harder to cool, increasing energy usage and costs.

Gas stoves and ovens are efficient, easy to use and less expensive to operate than electric. If you love the clean look of an electric cook top, make sure to buy an energy efficient induction model.

Cabinets, Countertops and Floors

If your home has been around a few years, you may have solid wood cabinetry in the kitchen that has been obscured by years of varnish or paint. Instead of gutting the entire kitchen, consider refinishing your cabinets. Sanding and re-staining your cabinet doors and adding new hardware can modernize your kitchen with minimal waste.

If you really hate the look of your cabinets, conTimberlake Cabinetrysider replacing only the doors and facings.

Incorporating dedicated bins for composting and recycling into your new cabinets will make it convenient to reduce waste.

Environmentally friendly composite countertops are available that mimic the look of stone – for a fraction of the price.

Sustainable woods like bamboo, high-quality laminates and recycled brick, tile or hardwoods are all earth-friendly choices when replacing floors.

Finally, if your current cabinets must go, consider purchasing certified green products (through the National Green Building Program), such as Timberlake Cabinetry

Water

Low Flow Faucet

The easiest thing you can do to conserve water is to install a low-flow faucet in your kitchen sink. It may take a little getting used to, but in time it will more than pay for itself.

Investing in a new dishwasher is another way to “green” your kitchen. Modern dishwashers heat the water instead of relying on water from the household heater, reducing energy loss through the pipes.

Manufacturer’s tests have shown that even the most frugal hand washers can’t beat new energy-rated appliances, which typically use less than ten gallons of water per cycle.

A few tips: Don’t rinse dishes before loading, only run the machine when it’s fully loaded and skip the dry cycle whenever possible. The water is heated to a high enough temperature to dry the dishes through evaporation if the door is left open after running.

Lighting

Replacing incandescent bulbs can reduce energy costs. The problem is that many older kitchens are equipped with tube fluorescents in large fixtures.

You may have to spend a little money to save money.

Can Lights

Have an electrician remove old fixtures and replace them with recessed lighting and LED lamps.

While that work is being done, you can also have your kitchen rewired into lighting “zones” with spotlights over work areas including the sink, the stove and the table.

You can reduce energy usage by only lighting the areas where you are working instead of the entire kitchen.

By incorporating these types of “green” features and fixtures into a sustainable kitchen design, you can do something nice for the planet and save money at the same time.

 

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

Tags: raleigh green homes, green home builders, green home building, green builders raleigh, green home builders triangle, green home builders raleigh, green homes raleigh