What is Energy Star?
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
In 1992 the EPA introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors were the first labeled products. The ENERGY STAR label is now on over 60 product categories including major appliances, office equipment, lighting, and home electronics. EPA has also extended the label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.
The typical household spends $2,200 a year on energy bills. With ENERGY STAR, you can save more than 30% or more than $700 per year, with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style or comfort. ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy efficient choice.
Why does Tempest Homes build Energy Star certified homes?
In early 2006 we were looking for ways to differentiate ourselves and add value for our customers. The Energy Star program fit both of these criteria. Few local builders were making energy efficiency a priority in their homes giving us a leg up on the competition. At the same time we were adding immense value to each home we built by building better performing homes with lower energy consumption and utility costs.
Is every home Tempest Homes builds Energy Star certified?
Yes, Tempest Homes has a 100% commitment to building Energy Star certified homes. Since 2006 Tempest Homes has built over 500 Energy Star certified homes.
What features are required in order for a home to be Energy Star certified?
- Effective Insulation Properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, reduced energy use, and increased comfort. As part of the certification process the insulation in each of our homes is inspected by an independent third party to verify we are using the proper products, the correct amount, have it in the correct locations, and have installed it properly.
- High-Performance Windows Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frames, to help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings. In each of our homes we install low-E argon filled windows made by Windsor Windows.
- Tight Construction and Ducts Sealing holes and cracks in the home's "envelope" and in heating and cooling duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility and maintenance. Our framers, insulators, roofers, siders, HVAC installers are each integral parts of making sure the home’s envelope is void of holes and cracks. Again the home is inspected by an independent third party to ensure the envelope is tight.
- Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment In addition to using less energy to operate, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can be quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home. When properly installed into a tightly sealed home, this equipment won't have to work so hard to heat and cool the home. Tempest uses high end energy efficient heating and cooling equipment by Heil.
- Efficient Products ENERGY STAR qualified homes may also be equipped with ENERGY STAR qualified products — lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. We incorporate many Energy Star products into each home we build and are constantly looking for new Energy Star products to add.
- Third-Party Verification With the help of independent Home Energy Raters, ENERGY STAR builder partners choose the most appropriate energy-saving features for their homes. Additionally, raters conduct onsite testing and inspections to verify the energy efficiency measures, as well as insulation, air tightness, and duct sealing details. Every home we build is inspected by Thermo-Scan Inspections prior to drywall and then again once the home is completed. Each home is then given a score and sent to the EPA for final approval.
Are all Energy Star certified homes created equally?
No. Each Energy Star home is given a score based on how much more efficient the home is than a home built to the 2004 International Residential Code. The homes must be at least 15% more efficient than the 2004 code. The homes are scored on a scale of 1-5 stars with 1 being the worst and 5+ being the best. All Tempest Homes score at or above the 4 star level.
Is it an upgrade for Tempest Homes to have your home certified by Energy Star?
No. Energy Star certification is in the base price of the home and will be of no additional cost to our customers.
How does building an Energy Star certified home help our customers?
- ADDED CONFIDENCE Home buying is complex enough without having to know all the details of energy-efficient construction. Instead, look for the government-backed ENERGY STAR label to easily identify homes that are truly energy efficient. Find the house of your dreams and enjoy peace of mind knowing that it also meets strict energy efficiency guidelines.
- LOWER OWNERSHIP COST Compared with standard homes, ENERGY STAR qualified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating-delivering $200 to $400 in annual savings. Over the average 7 to 8 years you may live in your home, this adds up to thousands of dollars saved on utility bills. Additional savings on maintenance can also be substantial. Financing your home purchase using an energy efficient mortgage can also lead to savings.
- BETTER PERFORMANCE Properly installed energy-efficient improvements deliver better protection against cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pollution, and noise. An energy-efficient home helps ensure consistent temperatures between and across rooms, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability.
- SMART INVESTMENT To date, more than 6,500 home builders have partnered with EPA to construct nearly 940,000 ENERGY STAR qualified homes. The trend is clear. By choosing a home with the ENERGY STAR label, you can be confident that it will have an increasingly valued feature when the time comes to sell.
- ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Did you know that your home can be a greater source of pollution than your car? In fact, 16 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are generated from the energy used in houses nationwide. Energy used in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and global warming. Simply put, the less energy we use in our homes, the less air pollution we generate.