Gov's Energy Office supports ENERGY STAR new homes

GEO provides nearly $250,000 to promote construction of energy efficient homes

The Governor's Energy Office (GEO) is providing $246,000 to partners across Colorado to promote the construction of ENERGY STAR New Homes - the latest step in Colorado's successful efforts to increase the market share of energy efficient new homes.

The GEO will direct the grants to 12 partners across Colorado. Together, the partners comprise more than 100 cities, utilities, counties, non-profits, home builders, private companies and realtor groups. All partners provide matching dollars and use the funds for marketing ENERGY STAR New Homes and training realtors, contractors and home builders in energy efficient construction to help new residential construction earn the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency's ENERGY STAR label. Such homes are more efficient than standard homes, saving homeowners money on utility bills, making them more comfortable for residents and building U.S. energy security.

"The success of ENERGY STAR New Homes shows the leadership of Colorado homebuilders - and homebuyers - in their commitment to saving energy," said GEO director Tom Plant. "We applaud the enthusiasm of partners across the state, from cities to utilities to realtors, who share the important goal of building homes that bolster energy independence, reduce pollution and conserve natural resources."

Market share of ESNHs has increased steadily since 2004 from 4.2 percent of the new home market to 28 percent of new homes built in Colorado in the third quarter of 2009. Colorado's success in building the market for these energy efficient homes earned it a national ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award from the EPA last year.

This year marks the third round of GEO grants to regional partners in the ENERGY STAR New Homes (ESNH) program. The GEO has also launched an ENERGY STAR mortgage that provides an interest rate discount on a new home loan and a rebate to builders who construct ESNHs. The GEO is also seeking applications from homebuilder associations for grants to deliver ENERGY STAR-focused trainings and workshops for their members, contractors and other industry professionals.

"These grants are helping our coalition continue to transform the regional new home market to high-performance construction," said Doug Swartz, program manager for Northern Colorado ENERGY STAR Homes. "The local sponsors are strongly committed to this voluntary program that will raise consumer awareness of the ENERGY STAR brand and what it says about new home performance."

To earn the ENERGY STAR label, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the EPA. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy saving features that typically make them 20-30% more efficient than standard homes. Once built, the home must have an energy audit certified by an independent Home Energy Rater who is responsible for conducting onsite testing and inspections of installed measures such as insulation, high performance windows, building envelope, duct systems, and efficient heating and cooling equipment.

A list of the 2010 ENERGY STAR New Homes program partners follows. The amount of money granted to the partner follows in parentheses.

  • Colorado Springs ($15,000): Colorado Springs Utilities, Pikes Peak ENERGY STAR

  • San Miguel County ($22,320): The New Community Coalition, San Miguel County, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp, Alpine Lumber, Sashco, Inc. Business Sponsors, Mountain Village, Telluride Association of Realtors, Town of Telluride, Town of Mountain Village, Town of Norwood, Town of Ophir, Ouray County, Town of Ouray, Town of Ridgway, SourceGas, San Miguel Power Association, Bridger Construction, Cascade Creek Builders, Habitat for Humanity Telluride, Hensen Construction, Gabriel Ciaffre Design/Build, Lotus Energy Solutions, LLC, San Juan Energy Solutions, LLC, Senter Lane Inspections, LLC, Gary Tollefson Services, Annadel Building Solutions, LLC

  • Garfield County  ($11,500): Clean Energy Economy for the Region, Garfield County, City of Rifle, City of Glenwood Springs, Town of Silt, Clean Energy Collective, Town of Carbondale, Town of New Castle, Town of Parachute, Mountain to Mesa Home Builders Association, Xcel Energy, Holy Cross Energy, Glenwood Springs Electric, SourceGas

  • Chaffee County ($20,800): Colorado Mountain College, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association, Headwaters Energy & Finance, Chaffee County

  • Eagle Valley County ($11,059): Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, Eagle County, Town of Vail, Active Energies, Jim Guida Construction, Holy Cross Energy.

  • Grand Mesa ($25,000): Housing Resources of Western Colorado, Mesa County, Better Energy Advocates, Frostbusters & Coolth Co., Xcel Energy, Christi Reece, Eco-Brokers, GreenStar Homes, EnergyWise Companies, McPherson Construction, Monument Valley Mortgage, Harbert Lumber Co., Allied Building Products Corp., Western Contractors Inc.

  • Northern Colorado ($50,000): Fort Collins Utilities, Longmont P&C, Platte River Power Authority, Poudre Valley REA, Xcel Energy, Town of Windsor, Town of Berthoud, Larimer County, Town of Severance, Town of Timnath, Business Sponsors.

  • Roaring Fork Valley ($18,000): City of Aspen, Community Office for Resource Efficiency, Town of Basalt, Town of Carbondale, Pitkin County, Snowmass Village

  • Routt / Steamboat Springs ($15,764): City of Steamboat Springs, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, Mountain Energy Consultants, Evergreen Building Solutions, City of Steamboat Dept of Planning & Community Development

  • Southwest Colorado ($25,000): 4CORE, Mantell-Hecathom Builders, 1st National Bank, La Plata County, Colorado Housing, Inc., City of Durango, La Plata Electric Association, Chamber of Commerce, Eco-Brokers, Alpine Bank, Empire Electric, Twin Buttes, Alpine Lumber, Town of Pagosa Springs, La Plata Electric Association, Prudential Realty, Archuleta County, HBASC, Builders Association of Pagosa Springs.

  • Summit / Park / Lake ($25,000): High Country Conservation Center.

  • Uncompahgre Valley ($7,000): Delta Montrose Electric Association, City of Montrose, EnergyWise Companies, Balanced Construction, Delta County, Lane Construction, San Juan Custom Homes, Bridger Construction Services, Felix Marti of Proven Technologies, Koehn Builders, LLC, Accurate Insulation, Cypress Homes, Dave Klugston, Design Build Unlimited, Frostbusters & Coolth Co., San Juan Energy Solutions, LLC, HughesInsulation, Habitat for Humanity of Montrose, McPherson Construction, Home Builders Association of Northwestern Colorado, Countrywide Home Loans, Remax Janice Jones.