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: 14

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

Kurtis Pender 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
9 minutes ago
Kurtis Pender joined Leslie McDowell, BPI's group
Thumbnail

Building Performance Institute (BPI)

BPI is the nation's premier standards development, quality assurance and credentialing organization…See More
11 minutes ago
Profile IconKurtis Pender and Colin Genge joined Sean Lintow Sr's group
Thumbnail

Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
12 minutes ago
Kurtis Pender joined Michael Stuart's group
Thumbnail

INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY USERS

This group is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion of infrared thermography for building…See More
12 minutes ago
Profile IconKurtis Pender, j. west and Colin Genge joined Norm Bourassa's group
Thumbnail

Multifamily Buildings

For too long there has been relatively little EE focus on multifamily, but some new programs have…See More
15 minutes ago
Bud Poll posted a discussion

How do we pay for the grid?

Ok, so some electric utilities are charging some form of up front and/or monthly added charge for…See More
4 hours ago
Colin Genge's video was featured

Passive House Testing Webinar (Feb 13, 2014)

We covered: - Measuring air leakage in a tight house; - New passive house testing equipment; - Powered flow hoods for accurate measurement of HRV ERV flow ra...
6 hours ago
Colin Genge posted events
13 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service