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: 15

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.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Profile IconMike Norvell Sr and Jen Loomis joined Home Energy Pros
42 minutes ago
Rod Fox replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"Well I'd love to tell you folks I found an answer, but I did not... I went to my…"
4 hours ago
Rod Fox replied to Kevin Eigel's discussion What is the best energy auditing software?
"I've been trying to answer this question for many years and have not yet found an answer.…"
4 hours ago
Jerry Lawrence posted events
4 hours ago
Jan Green commented on Theresa L Gilbride's blog post Find out who's building some of the best-performing homes in the country today with DOE’s Tour of Zero
"Thank you for sharing! "
6 hours ago
Jan Green commented on Theresa L Gilbride's blog post Find out who's building some of the best-performing homes in the country today with DOE’s Tour of Zero
"We have one builder in Arizona on the DOE list.  Good information for a blog!"
6 hours ago
Beverly Lerch posted a photo

FIREPLACE FASHION COVER

A Fireplace Fashion Cover will insulate and isolate your fireplace against drafts and heat loss…
6 hours ago
Home Energy Magazine's blog post was featured

Twenty-First-Century Energy Efficiency—with Carbon on Our Minds

After the first oil embargo, in 1973, our nation recognized the need to save…See More
7 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service