The US Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has reached a milestone: a million new Energy Star qualified US homes. According to the EPA, this means that, since the program’s inception in 1995, Americans have saved $1.2 billion in utility bills, reducing carbon emissions by 22 billion pounds.
The Energy Star program was developed in order to offer home buyers a nationwide standard by which to judge the energy-efficiency of a new home. In order to earn the Energy Star label, a new home must meet strict guidelines set by the EPA incorporating effective insulation systems, high-performance windows, tight construction and duct work, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and high-efficiency lighting and appliances throughout the home. In order to verify that Energy Star requirements are met, an independent home energy rater must conduct on-site testing and inspection.
Lisa P. Jackson, an EPA Administrator said, in a statement, “We’re going to keep the number of Energy Star homes growing, because every new Energy Star home is a step towards lower costs, cleaner air, and communities that are environmentally and economically sustainable.”