Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make. One way to get the most value out of your investment is by purchasing an ENERGY STAR certified new home.
ENERGY STAR certified new homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes constructed to Maryland’s building code. They provide wall-to-wall comfort while saving you money on reduced energy and maintenance costs. Couple that with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and it’s a wonder why anyone would choose anything but an ENERGY STAR certified new home.
The money you save in lower monthly energy costs is typically more than enough to offset any increase in your mortgage payment. Plus, ENERGY STAR certified homes are eligible for energy-efficient mortgages (EEM). Conventional EEMs allow lenders to increase the borrower’s income by a dollar amount equal to the estimated energy savings. The Federal Housing Administration offers EEMs for eligible buyers, and there's also an EEM available to qualified military personnel, reservists and veterans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Add the fact that you’ll be able to proudly tout the ENERGY STAR label when the time comes to sell your home—a big advantage in a competitive real estate marketplace—and an ENERGY STAR certified new home is the right choice for you and for the environment.
Why Buy an ENERGY STAR Certified New Home?
ENERGY STAR certified homes are built better and built to last. Each home is constructed using top-of-the-line building practices and strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The result is verified quality and durability, not to mention an investment that’s better for you and for the environment.
Better for you:
- Wall-to-Wall Comfort: You'll see, hear and feel the difference in a home that has been designed to deliver optimal performance and year-round comfort. Enjoy consistent temperatures across every room and a constant supply of fresh, filtered air that reduces indoor pollutants, dust, pollen and other allergens.
- Enduring Quality: With energy-efficient materials and equipment built into your home from the foundation up, you will enjoy an overall superior level of quality and better performance for years to come.
- Peace of Mind: Tried-and-true best building practices coupled with independent inspections and testing from certified professionals mean that you can sleep well, knowing your house was built right.
The proof is in the numbers. Energy-efficient new homes not only deliver energy savings of up to 30% compared to typical, standard-built new homes, but also save homeowners an average of $300 annually on their energy costs—which adds up to thousands over the years you live there.
Better for the environment:
Standard-built new homes can be a greater source of pollution than your car. In fact, 17% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are generated by our homes. Energy-efficient new homes use less energy, which translates to fewer emissions.
Each ENERGY STAR certified new home reduces greenhouse gases by 3,700 pounds per year compared to a typical new home. That's the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions absorbed by planting 43 trees. Since 1992, the ENERGY STAR program and its partners have helped families and businesses save $430 billion and 4.6 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy while achieving broad emission reductions—including 2.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Typical Features of an Energy-Efficient Home
ENERGY STAR certified new homes are built so that all energy efficiency systems and equipment work in harmony to deliver optimal performance. So what does an energy-efficient home look like? Typically, each ENERGY STAR certified new home features:
- Efficient heating and cooling equipment that is the right size for your home’s layout, ductwork and family needs.
- Insulation in the floors, walls and attic to help maintain consistent, comfortable temperatures and reduce noise.
- Protection systems that reduce the chances of water damage to roofs, exterior walls and foundations.
- High-performance windows to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
- Tight construction and sealed ducts to reduce leaks, drafts and outdoor noise.
- High-efficiency water heaters with built-in insulation and efficient burners to keep the water in your tank hotter, longer.
- Efficient lighting and appliances, including ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers, refrigerators, light bulbs and clothes washers.
These features not only save money, but they also result in a home that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The temperature in living spaces stays comfortable and consistent from room to room. And, because your new home uses less energy, you'll have made a choice that keeps giving back to the environment long after construction is completed.
Maximize the Savings Built Into Your New Home
Once you're moved in, make sure to keep your new home as energy efficient as possible. Following these guidelines helps ensure that you’re getting the most out of your ENERGY STAR certified new home:
- HVAC Check-ups: Get your system checked in the spring and fall by a qualified contractor. Maintaining your equipment—and catching small issues before they become expensive problems—can have a big effect on your energy costs and comfort.
- PeakRewardsSM: Sign up for BGE's PeakRewards Program, which cycles your air conditioning and water heater on and off during peak periods between June 1 and September 30 to reduce the likelihood of power brownouts. Participants get a professionally installed programmable thermostat or outdoor switch and can earn bill credits from $25 to $200.
- Lighting: Choose ENERGY STAR certified lighting products, which use 70% to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. That means each bulb lasts at least 15 times longer and can save you about $55 in electricity costs over its lifetime.* BGE customers can save up to $7 on select bulbs at participating retailers.
- Outlets and Electronics: Reduce unnecessary costs by using smart power strips and unplugging electronics such as cell phone chargers when they're not in use. Around 25% of all power used by home electronics occurs while the products are off, costing consumers more than $3 billion a year.*
BGE will even come to you to help you find ways to maximize the features of your ENERGY STAR certified new home. Schedule a visit with a home energy efficiency expert at no additional cost by calling 410.500.4529. You’ll get simple explanations of the energy-saving features in your home and personalized advice and tips for living comfortably and saving energy. Best yet, you'll also receive your choice of up to 10 LED light bulbs and a smart power strip.
It's all part of BGE's effort to help you save energy and money!