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Efficiency from the ground up

Friday, March 31, 2017

Want to live in the most efficient home on the block? Make sure yours earns the
ENERGY STAR® certified new home label.

As the trusted symbol of energy efficiency, an ENERGY STAR certification ensures your new home is comfortable and sustainable by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Consumers Energy partners with Michigan builders to help customers achieve this standard by offering expert insight into the benefit an ENERGY STAR home has for the environment, as well as for helping households keep their energy bills low.

An ENERGY STAR certified home is built to use 15–30 percent less energy than non-certified homes. From the ground up, every detail is designed with comfort and sustainability in mind. A high-performance heating and cooling system ensures consistent temperatures throughout your home all year long, while advanced insulation, high-efficiency windows and a comprehensive water management system help keep it fresh, dry and free of drafts and allergens.

That level of detail and quality even extends to features you can’t see, such as incorporating advanced construction techniques into the walls and foundation. To make sure the highest quality standards are met, an independent RESNET® Home Energy Rater will inspect every detail before bestowing the blue ENERGY STAR label on your new home.

Once you’re ready to get started, let your builder know you want an ENERGY STAR certified home. Michigan has more than 15,000 existing ENERGY STAR homes, and thousands more are built each year. If you’re shopping existing real estate, always check inside the circuit breaker box to see if the home is certified. It may not look like much, but that little blue label can mean everything.

And while we recommend ENERGY STAR certification for its winning combination of effectiveness and affordability, other worthy alternatives include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), National Green Building Standard (NGBS), GreenBuilt Michigan, Zero Energy Ready and Passivhaus. With many energy efficiency options available, it’s ultimately up to you and your builder to choose which solutions works best for you.