EPB, Habitat for Humanity and green|spaces have partnered to develop a cost-effective way to build energy-efficient homes.
With the participation of homebuyer Tempestt Jordan, the partners worked together to pilot the new home-building guideline through the construction of a Habitat for Humanity House.
After monitoring the home’s energy consumption during the first year of occupation, the partners found Jordan saved more than $500 compared to the average residential monthly bill in EPB’s service territory.
The EPB Zero Energy Resource Guide is now available free of charge to all homebuilders in the EPB service area. EPB “energy pros” are available to provide free consultations in following the guidelines.
“I’m honored to be the first homeowner to live in an EPB Zero Energy home,” Jordan says. “I’ve seen substantial savings on my energy bills, and my family is having fewer allergy problems as a result of the air quality.”
“Tempestt’s home was built with health and cost in mind,” says Habitat for Humanity CEO Jens Christensen. “This pilot home is more energy efficient and better for the environment. We’re currently working with EPB to build a second EPB Zero Energy house with another Habitat for Humanity homeowner – and we plan to build more.”
EPB’s Zero Energy Resource Guide provides a checklist of products and building practices that are proven to make homes more energy efficient and increase comfort and health.
The guide includes recommendations for building practices, insulation techniques and products, HVAC standards and indoor air quality considerations.
Qualified contractors can also receive a new 2021 energy efficiency tax credit verification. Builders can get a one-time federal tax credit up to $2,000 if they meet the 50% energy efficiency standard.
Sustainability nonprofit green|spaces helped EPB develop the guide after the success of its NextGen Homes, a demonstration development of four homes completed in 2018 that explored how to build homes that can produce as much energy as they consume with a market-rate budget.
After the NextGen Homes, green|spaces wanted to focus on affordable housing.
“This home is even more proof that green building should be available to all – regardless of income level,” says green|spaces executive director Michael Walton.
EPB Energy Pros can work with homebuilders to register for and implement the U.S. E.P.A. Indoor Air Plus certification as well. This certification ensures that a home is built to avoid common issues like water intrusion, dust, and particulate matter that negatively impact health and air quality.
Contractors and residential customers who are planning to build homes who would like more information can call an EPB energy pro at 423 648-1372 to set up a free consultation in person or by phone.