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Energy Efficient Homes Help Save Money and the Environment

Release Date: 05/06/2003
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Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov

(05/06/03) EPA Administrator Christie Whitman today announced that 100,000 new homes have earned the EPA ENERGY STAR designation, saving Americans more than $26 million in energy costs annually. Whitman made her announcement at a meeting of the National Association of Home Builders.

“As we look back over the past years of our ENERGY STAR partnership, the record is truly impressive,” said Administrator Whitman. “At the start of our partnership, just 55 homes in the United States qualified for the Energy Star designation. Today, less than a decade later, I’m pleased to announce that there are now 100,000 Energy Star homes in America. That’s more houses than there are in Atlanta, Georgia – population 416,000. That’s quite an accomplishment.”

The home building industry is a powerful engine for economic growth, accounting for more than four million jobs and representing 13 percent of America’s Gross National Product. America’s builders, as business leaders, are on the forefront of energy efficiency, combining good business practices with environmental stewardship under ENERGY STAR.

ENERGY STAR qualified homes incorporate savings in design and construction and use 30 percent less energy for heating, cooling and water heating than a standard home. Homeowners can expect to save about $200 -$400 annually on their utility bills. In order for a home to earn the ENERGY STAR designation, it must be certified to ensure that the home meets EPA’s strict guidelines for energy efficiency.

ENERGY STAR homes also help to ensure increased comfort for the families who live in them. The tight construction helps keep unwanted drafts, dust, pollen, and moisture from entering the home. Added insulation and efficient heating and cooling equipment also helps keep these ENERGY STAR homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Last year alone Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved more than $7 billion on their energy bills, saved enough energy to power 15 million homes, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 14 million cars off the road.

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program, managed by the EPA with assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit: www.energystar.gov or call 1-888-STAR-YES.