EPA's ENERGY STAR Program was created to help identify the best ways to save energy. The little blue label says this product, this home, this building or factory is doing the right things to save. And energystar.gov offers the most comprehensive resource available for energy efficiency advice and information.
ENERGY STAR Certification
ENERGY STAR certified homes are independently verified to meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes save money on utility bills, provide a more comfortable living environment with better indoor air quality, and help protect the environment.
Typical features to look for in ENERGY STAR certified homes include:
- Efficient Walls and Windows, the levels of wall, floor and attic insulation properly installed designed to block drafts, and high-performance windows;
- Efficient Air Ducts, so rooms get enough air to have consistent, comfortable temperatures throughout the house;
- Efficient Equipment for heating, and cooling the house, helping you save money while staying comfortable;
- Efficient Lighting and Appliances, including ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers, refrigerators, light bulbs and clothes washers.
These energy efficiency improvements not only save money, they provide a house that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. By providing comfortable homes efficiently, homeowners are operating their homes using less power, and less resources, a green choice that continues to give back after the construction has been completed.
What comes after energy efficiency?
Homebuyers can also look for the Indoor airPLUS label — a specification developed by EPA to address the indoor environment component of green building. Homes that achieve this level of excellence are first certified as ENERGY STAR, and then also incorporate more than 60 additional home design and construction features to control moisture, chemical exposure, radon, pests, ventilation, and filtration. Together, these features help protect certified homes and their residents from mold, chemicals, combustion gases, and other airborne pollutants.
EPA's WaterSense® program helps homebuyers purchase high efficiency products that save water without sacrificing performance or quality. The WaterSense® label makes it easy for homebuyers to find and purchase water efficient products and appliances that are backed by third party, independent testing and certification. Products with the WaterSense® label perform as well if not better than their traditional counterparts and are 20 percent more water efficient on average that other products.
You can't see energy efficiency. It takes testing and expert analysis. A third party certification process makes sure anything that earns the blue label meets the highest standards. Even an LED bulb must pass dozens of checks to assure quality, performance, and efficiency. All you have to do is look for the ENERGY STAR.
ENERGY STAR® PORTFOLIO MANAGER
Program guide and webinar help building owners identify and track parts of portfolios that are struggling with energy performance, to compare performance from year-to-year and benchmark buildings.
Does a building really have to be built to a premium sustainability standard to use and benefit from performance-boosting strategies? BIT Building, a new program from Southface Institute, has a plan to help everyday buildings of all types and ages, whether commercial buildings, non-profits, schools or religious spaces, dramatically improve their building performance. The…Read More
Here at Southface Institute, we’re committed to building better communities through consulting, workforce development and advocacy for sustainability. But there are so many ways to help the environment, the community and each other. While you’re planning your 2019 approach to be a part of leaving things better than you found them, here is a collection…Read More
Green certified home renovations are sure to become more common in Decatur starting this spring, thanks in large part to the research efforts of Southface’s EarthCraft team.
Last month, Southface conducted preliminary energy and cost-savings analyses of three recently renovated homes pursuing EarthCraft Renovation certification as part of the implementation of the City of Decatur’s “High Performance Building Standard,” requiring all new construction and commercial renovation meeting certain thresholds to be certified under a green building standard.