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

Why Build an ENERGY STAR Home? Sell Faster, Recoup Investment

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 @ 13:12 PM

ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes Sell Faster, at a Higher Price

North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance - ENERGY STAR Qualified Home Study Results

Third Party Energy Certification

Homebuyers may be hesitant to build an ENERGY STAR home - the initial cost is about 1% more than a standard home.

But the monthly energy cost savings (through reduced energy needs, government incentives, and energy company discounts), increases in comfort, benefits to the environment, and home loan incentives are helping homebuyers across the nation make the decision to go ENERGY STAR.

Now, you have a new reason to build ENERGY STAR: statistically significant market advantages.

The North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance (NCEEA) recentlly completed a study investigating the market advantages of ENERGY STAR qualification for new homes around the greater Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.

The study analyzed Triangle MLS homes, including:

  • A random sample of ENERGY STAR Homes
  • A random sample of homes with no building certifications (with similar third party appraisal values)

ENERGY STAR Homes were found to have a significant market advantage, compared to similar code-built, uncertified homes, in each of these categories:

  • Selling for a higher sale price
  • Selling for a higher price per square foot, or
  • Having spent fewer days on the market prior to sale. 

While ENERGY STAR homes also sold for a greater proportion of their list price, these results of the study were not found to be statistically significant.

No matter when you're planning to move again, having a home that's easy to sell when the time comes will make a big difference.

The Benefits of an ENERGY STAR Qualified Home

Here is a summary of the study's results:

Third Party Energy Certification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanton Homes is an ENERGY STAR Qualified custom home builder, and will work with you to incorporate all of the energy saving features you’re looking for.

Read the entire NCEEA ENERGY STAR Home study here.

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.

Third Party Energy Certification
 

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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.

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What is a HERS Score? How Energy Efficient is Your New Home?

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 @ 08:04 AM

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?

How Energy Efficient is Your New Home?


Any home can be "rated" for energy efficiency by a certified third party Home Energy Rater, such as Southern Energy Management.

Whether you're building a new home or buying an older home, a HERS score will help you understand how much energy will be required throughout the year.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?  

The home energy rater will provide an analysis of the home, including:

  • Review of floor plans
  • Onsite inspections
  • Blower door test: to test the leakiness of the house
  • Duct test: to test the leakiness of the ducts
  • Thermal bypass checklist: to discover areas where air can bypass insulation

A complex software program analyzes all the data, and provides a HERS Index score for the home.

 

Various aspects of the home can affect energy efficiency, such as:

  • Insulation: is it properly installed and sealed?
  • Windows: are they coated for all types of weather?
  • Ducts: are they sealed from moisture, pollen, and dust?
  • Appliances: are they designed to conserve water and energy?
  • HVAC systems: are they designed to conserve energy?

 

What is a HERS point?

Each 1 point reduction implies a 1% energy savings versus standard construction.

A new home built to standard construction guidelines generally has a HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) of 100.


In comparison, a home with a HERS Index score of 150 will most likely require 50% more energy than a home built to today's standards of a 100 HERS score.
A home with a HERS Index score of 75 will require 25% less energy than a home built to today's standards.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?


What are other common HERS scores?

ENERGY STAR Construction = 85

A new home built to ENERGY STAR guidelines generally has a HERS of 85 or below.

Yearly energy costs in an ENERGY STAR qualified home are planned to be 15% lower than in a home built to standard construction.

20 Year Old Home = 120 to 150

In general, older homes have higher energy requirements.  This can vary greatly depending on the home and any improvements made, such as adding higher quality insulation, windows, or appliances, so it is a very good idea to have an older home rated before purchase.

70 Year Old Home = 250???

Homes that are 70 years old or older have the lowest energy efficiency.  But energy requirements will still vary significantly depending on the improvements made to the home.

A score of 200 means that yearly energy costs will be 100% higher than in a home built to today's standard construction.

What Should I Consider Before Buying My New Home?

It's wise to consider not just the price tag of the home, but also the price tag of the monthly energy costs.

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.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?

 

Tags: green builders raleigh, green homes, green homes raleigh