News Brief

Energy Star Certifies 26% of New Homes in 2011

By Erin WeaverAbout one-quarter of new single-family homes constructed in 2011 were built to voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star standards, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)—more than double the percentage of five years earlier. The states without statewide energy codes, most of them in the Mississippi Valley and Upper Midwest, also tend to have the lowest percentage of Energy Star homes.

The efficiency of appliances furnishing those homes varies by product type; according to a review by EIA, nearly all dehumidifiers, dishwashers, and televisions available in 2011 met Energy Star standards, leading to updated specifications for those categories. Energy Star standards are supposed to reflect the efficiency of the top 25% of products in a category; very few water heaters, for example, meet the standards because electric storage tank heaters cannot match the efficiency of hybrid heat-pump water heaters.

Published November 29, 2012

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