Every day, while traveling to or coming home from work, I hear an advertisement for new Energy Star homes under construction or ready for purchase. While I have the utmost respect for what Energy Star
certification stands for and hopes to accomplish, I don’t believe I could ever own one myself. Energy Star and other similarly accredited homes offer quite a bit in terms of energy efficiency, but in terms of lessening the homes impact on the environment…I’m not entirely sure I could agree.


Energy Star certified homes certainly have a lot to offer in terms of high efficiency insulation, windows, appliances, and HVAC systems. However, none of the aforementioned Energy Star home aspects
are really out of the ordinary and could be applied to a home whether brand new or several decades old. Chances are pretty good that if you wanted a new home and worked closely with your contractor, you could implement most of the necessary Energy Star home aspects without problem. You’d essentially have created your own Energy Star home (although you may not receive the certification).


New Energy Star certified homes shine when in terms of energy efficiency. However, regardless of how efficient the home, you’re still using an enormous amount of energy to extract, process, ship, and manufacture the materials needed for the home. All of the energy used to construct a new home would go toward the homes overall environmental impact assessment. Even some of the most efficient homes would require at least a decade before they broke even with the amount of energy saved when compared to the energy required during the new homes construction.


So where does this leave us? Energy Star certified homes are designed to have exceptional efficiency when compared to typical building standards and effectively cost less money in terms of heating, cooling, and overall operation. However, I would like to present an alternative idea that centers on both energy efficiency and preservation. There are plenty of methods for combining the minimization of environmental impacts with energy efficiency. We’ll continue this topic in “Let’s Talk Preservation: Part 2”. www.hickoryenergy.tumblr.com

Views: 10

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Angela Bowman on November 18, 2010 at 8:10pm
Hear, hear.

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Benjamin Gromicko posted events
11 minutes ago
Nate Adams joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Hall of Shame

In this group, members share an array of images from the field, showing the kinds of issues…See More
55 minutes ago
tedkidd commented on Diane Chojnowski's group Hall of Shame
"Give this thread a bump - here's my "bad" album and some of the…"
1 hour ago
Eric Kjelshus commented on Adam Swain's blog post Top Worst Crawl Space Insulation Ideas
"6) Radiant barrier- under the gravel is just a barrier but with holes each square inch its not a…"
1 hour ago
tedkidd replied to Luis Hernandez's discussion Distribution Efficiency and heating safety factor in TREAT in the group TREAT Software
"It is very common to find equipment grossly oversized. I mean 1.5 - 2x Manual J and 2-3x the size…"
1 hour ago
tedkidd replied to Luis Hernandez's discussion Basic Heat loss information in the group TREAT Software
"Luis,  Click "selected reports, energy savings and use, design heating and cooling…"
1 hour ago
Ed Minch replied to Kurt Shafer's discussion Where can I find the best radiant barrier to install under my roof?
"The important thing here is the surface temperature of the ceiling against the attic as compared to…"
1 hour ago
Profile IconSharon DeRidder, Jason Hiep, Chris Chmiel and 4 more joined Home Energy Pros
2 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service