Energy savings in a typical American home target three main consumption areas: appliances, heating and cooling systems, and the building envelope (floors, windows, doors, walls and roof). Energy-efficient new homes offer the comfort of clean indoor air, good lighting and controlled temperatures that eliminate drafts and cold spots. Such homes are protecting the outdoor environment as well by reducing emissions.
Refrigerators and water heaters alone account for about 20 percent of a home’s energy use. As much as half of your energy bill goes towards heating and cooling. Good building practices save energy costs throughout the lifetime of a home.
Today’s appliances are several times more energy and resource efficient than earlier products. Find out how much money you save by using the ENERGY STAR Savings Calculator. New home buyers should look for the Energy Star label. Estimated savings: at least 20 percent annually.
U.S. Department of Energy studies show that homeowners living in a home built using energy-efficient building practices save on energy costs. This may include high-performance windows, increased insulation, and durable low-maintenance fiber cement siding and trim. Ask your home builder about these energy-efficiency solutions. Estimated savings: up to 30 percent annually.
Currently, there are strong economic incentives for choosing energy-efficient products and methods. Custom home builder New American Homes’ Newport Cove lakefront community near Antioch, IL offers Energy Star home packages that allow buyers to receive an additional $2,000 tax credit. Energy-efficient Pella windows, Whirlpoolappliances, Carrier furnaces and HardiePlank concrete fiber siding are standard in Newport Cove homes.
According to energy experts, nearly 70 percent of U.S. electricity is generated with coal and natural gas, which release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Efficient homes use less energy and help reduce their impact on the environment.