(BPT) – Imagine this — a home that is not only good for the planet but good for your wallet. That’s the allure of energy-efficient homes. Home buyers today aren’t just looking for a place to hang their hats. They’re seeking sustainable sanctuaries that lessen their environmental impact. But the cherry on top? The potential for significant cost savings. This is especially true when it comes to homes built to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Homes™ specifications. It’s not just a purchase, it’s a step toward a more sustainable and cost-effective future.
Last year, the average residential electricity price increased more than 14% across the country, double the rate of American inflation. As a result, more than 20 million families in the U.S. struggled to pay their utility bills. Luckily, some home builders are designing certified Zero Energy Ready Homes with energy-efficient features that can help homeowners save money.
This year, Clayton, a national builder of attainable, single-family homes, launched its newest housing initiative, eBuilt™ homes, which are built to DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specifications and come equipped with dozens of energy-efficient features. eBuilt homes can save a homeowner up to 50% in annual energy costs(1) compared to a traditional off-site built home, allowing homeowners to potentially save thousands of dollars throughout their homeownership journey. Check out five important features of eBuilt homes that can help significantly lower homeowners’ utility bills and environmental impact:
1. Tight thermal envelope with additional insulation
Heating and cooling a home year-round can cost a pretty penny. In a typical residence, as much as 40% of energy consumption costs can come from heating and cooling escaping through windows, doors and walls. eBuilt homes are designed with a tight thermal envelope, allowing the home to better manage and retain its temperature.
eBuilt homes have sealed ductwork, which helps prevent drafts, moisture and unwanted noise. All windows, vents, plumbing and electrical penetrations — even the recessed lighting — are tightly sealed. Together, these features contribute to the home’s energy efficiency.
2. Low-E windows
Low emissivity (low-e) windows with argon gas are in all Clayton eBuilt homes. Low-e windows allow less heat to enter and leave your home thanks to the microscopic thin coating that manages daylight transmittance. According to the DOE, low-e windows can reduce a home’s energy loss by 30%-50%.(2) Paired with the thermal envelope with the home’s added insulation and insulated exterior door, homeowners can expect to significantly cut their heating and cooling bills.
3. ecobee® smart thermostat
eBuilt homes also feature ecobee smart thermostats. According to ecobee, North American customers saved 26% on their heating and cooling costs by keeping their homes at a consistent temperature and minimizing the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures.
4. Energy-efficient water heating
For the average American household, water heating is the second largest expense on monthly utility payments, representing up to 18% of their utility bill. With energy-efficient water heating, homeowners can take a chunk off their monthly bills without reducing their hot water use.
5. ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances
Clayton’s eBuilt homes feature several enhancements that are ENERGY STAR®-certified, like dishwashers and refrigerators. A typical ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerator uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb, and freezers use 10% less energy than a new non-certified counterpart.
These are just five of the 25 enhancements that contribute to an eBuilt home’s energy efficiency. In addition to the energy-efficient enhancements, eBuilt homes are built to accommodate a solar energy system if the homeowner chooses to add one after purchase. With the addition of solar panels, eBuilt homes can transform into a “net zero” home, which can offset up to 100% of its annual energy use by generating the power it consumes.
To learn more about the benefits of buying an eBuilt home, visit ClaytonHomes.com.
(3) Compared to the energy needed to power a single 100-watt incandescent light bulb constantly for one year