August 29, 2011
The Massachusetts New Homes with ENERGY STAR is a regional program that promotes the construction of energy-efficient new homes in order to reduce energy usage and peak energy demand. The Program is sponsored by Bay State Gas, Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact, GasNetworks, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, National Grid, New England Gas, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, and Western Massachusetts Electric. Funding is provided by the state’s public benefit fund to support energy efficiency efforts. For more information visit:www.energystarhomes.com
Building an Energy Star home has several benefits including financial incentives (up to $1,250; $1,150 for high efficiency natural gas HVAC equipment), free compact fluorescent bulbs and energy analysis and consultation.
In order to qualify a few key requirements must be met:
1) An energy analysis of the home plans must be done.
2) A midpoint inspection to verify the EPA Thermal Bypass Checklist requirements have been met. The home must meet the ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation requirement by one of the following methods: install a continuously operating bath fan, or install a standard bath fan with a programmable timer (program timer is set by the home rater), or install a whole house ventilation system.
3) A final inspection, blower door test and duct leakage test (where applicable) is required.
If you are planning to build a new house this year finding out all the facts about the Energy Star Program could go a long way.