Energy Star Requirements to Get Tougher
Washington, DC — Builders of new homes in the United States will have to significantlyincrease the energy efficiency of their homes to meet new Energy Starrequirements released yesterday. Over the next 20 years, EPA estimates thatthis increase in energy efficiency for Energy Star qualified homes willsave homeowners more than $2 billion in utility bills, while eliminatingmore than 7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
To qualify under the revised Energy Star specifications, new homes musthave higher levels of insulation inspected for proper installation;complete framing and air barrier assemblies that enable insulation toperform at its full rated value; windows that meet or exceed Energy Starrequirements; high-efficiency and properly sized heating and coolingequipment appropriate to the climate; and more energy-efficient waterheating, lighting and appliances. The new specifications build uponmany recent energy code changes and results from the nation's leadingenergy efficiency research program for new homes, the U.S. Department ofEnergy's (DOE) Building America program. The revised specifications arebeing released in the fall of 2005, and will initially take effect July1, 2006.
Energy Star is a voluntary program, managed by the EPA with assistancefrom the U.S. Department of Energy. The Energy Star label can be foundon new homes, appliances, electronics, office equipment, lighting,heating and cooling systems, and buildings. Currently there are morethan 2,500 home builders who have constructed more than 400,000 EnergyStar qualified homes, including close to 10 percent of the new housingstarts in 2004. For more information about Energy Star, visit:http://www.energystar.gov