When buying a new home, what does energy efficient really mean?

Energy-Efficient or High-Performance

Any builder can advertise their homes as ‘energy-efficient’ or ‘high-performance’. These homes may even share some similarities with ENERGY STAR. But unlike ENERGY STAR, these marketing labels do not follow national certification standards or require verification by independent third-party inspectors.

Specs for homes referred to as energyefficient or high-performance are set by each individual builder but may include:

  • High-performance windows with Low-ecoatings
  • 2” x 6” framing instead of 2”x 4” for a greater insulation value in the walls
  • An insulated foundation and additional insulation in the attic.
  • A ‘Blower Door Test’ performed to receive a HERS rating
  • High efficiency furnaces and Energy Star appliances

National Green Building Standard

First developed by the National Association of Home Builders, the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) is the first residential green building standard to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Under the (NGBS), green building practices are assigned point values. When a sales agent says a home is built with ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ practices, it is important to clarify that they are meeting the mandatory (NGBS) requirements set in each of these 6 categories:

  • Building orientation on the site
  • Building Envelope and Thermal enclosure system
  • Energy Efficiency
  • HVAC installation and design
  • Ventilation
  • Water Efficiency and management

20 Years of ENERGY STAR
  • Location
    Radius mi
  • Price in USD$
  • Bedrooms

Learn About Energy Efficient Homes