This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 08, 2009

Energy Star Homes Achieved a 17% Market Share in 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported on July 2 that nearly 17% of all single-family homes built nationally in 2008 earned the Energy Star label, up from 12% in 2007. Both home builders and home buyers are continuing to invest in high-performing homes that save consumers money on their utility bills and help protect the environment. Market share for Energy Star-qualified homes was 20% or greater in 15 states in 2008, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Vermont. To earn the Energy Star label, homes must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by EPA. Typically these include energy-saving features such as effective insulation, high-performance windows, airtight living spaces and ducts, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and Energy Star-qualified lights and appliances. See the list of features of Energy Star-qualified homes on the Energy Star Web site.

Nearly 940,000 Energy Star-qualified homes have been built to date, including more than 100,000 constructed in 2008. In 2008 alone, U.S. families living in Energy Star-qualified homes locked in annual utility bill savings of more than $250 million, avoiding the use of more than 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 155 million therms of natural gas. The Energy Star program is a joint effort of DOE and the EPA. See the EPA press release and a state-by-state breakdown of Energy Star-qualified homes on the Energy Star Web site.