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: 22

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.

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Latest Activity

JC NATALE posted photos
13 hours ago
Mike Burton replied to Amos Dunham's discussion ISO blower door or other equipment
"Are you still looking?  I have rarely used Minneapolis Blower Door and Duct Blaster Systems I…"
20 hours ago
Jonny Fisher posted a discussion

Used energy equipment for sale (blower door, duct blaster

I've got some used equipment that I need to sell. Let me know if you are interested in any of the…See More
yesterday
Joe Quiroz Jr. liked Don Hynek's discussion Superinsulation retrofit is Complete!
yesterday
Mick Lane replied to Rob Buchanan's discussion High-use headscratcher
"The geothermal heat pump is the most likely culprit.  The heat pump doesn't make heat it…"
yesterday
Mick Lane is now a member of Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Empower Efficiency added 2 discussions to the group Job Board
yesterday
Tom White's video was featured

A net-zero builders formula for insulating a super energy efficient home

Here is Peter Amerongen's formula for insulating a super energy efficient home.
yesterday

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service