Many folks do not realize the intense efforts of the DOE – Department of energy when it comes to designing the energy efficient homes of the future. The Department of Energy funds and studies the latest in eco-friendly and energy efficient housing methods and some of the innovations that come from these efforts are truly revolutionary.
One of the most notable initiatives of the DOE is to sponsor contests and challenges to the building community, top research universities and never-say-die entrepreneurs. Listed in the current DOE online news alerts was the New Builders Challenge. Working together, sharing technologies and providing incentives and funding are just some of the things that the DOE is doing to make our civilization more energy efficient. Builders receive tax credits and assistance to help them help us:
New Home Builders Challenge for 220,000 Efficient New Homes by 2012
DOE launched the Builders Challenge last week, calling on the U.S. homebuilding industry to build 220,000 high-performance, energy efficient homes by 2012. Thirty-eight homebuilders have already pledged to build 6,000 high-performance homes under the new voluntary national program. DOE aims for 1.3 million of these high-performance homes to be built by 2030, allowing the owners of those homes to collectively save as much as $1.7 billion in energy costs while avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of 606,000 cars.
DOE ranks all homes participating in the Builders Challenge on the EnergySmart Home scale, or E-scale, which rates a home based on its overall energy performance. Today’s typical new homes score 100 on this scale, while zero-energy homes, which produce as much energy as they consume, score a zero. For the Builders Challenge, all homes must rank a 70 or better to qualify, making them essentially 30% more efficient than the average new home built to international energy efficiency codes.
Indeed, the IRS is also giving steep tax incentives for Eco-Home Builders and this a nothing short of a great start and great collaboration between government and business to provide us with more efficient homes and improve our energy conservation in the US. Indeed, curtailing the growth of each families C02 footprint is not bad either. And that my friends is a Big Foot Step in the right direction!