10,000 homes and counting: Energy Trust of Oregon achieves energy savings with home efficiency rating
More than one-third of all newly built homes in Oregon have an EPS
PORTLAND, Ore. — August, 10, 2016 — As of this month, more than 10,000 homes have now been rated with EPSTM, an energy performance rating tool developed by Energy Trust of Oregon. The rating is only given to homes built at least 10 percent better than Oregon’s energy code and provides an easy way for homebuyers to assess a home’s energy performance, including estimated energy costs and carbon footprint.
Energy Trust launched EPS to help homebuyers see the behind-the-walls features that improve a home’s energy performance and factor energy efficiency into their search for a house. The number of EPS-rated homes has increased every year, from 300 EPS-rated homes built in 2009 to more than 2,500 homes built in 2015.
Many factors contribute to a home’s EPS, including the level of insulation and the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, appliances and lighting. Third-party verifiers inspect all homes, confirm proper installation of the energy-efficient features and use energy modeling software to provide a numerical score. Scores range from zero to 200, with zero being the most efficient. The average EPS home is built 20 percent above code and saves homebuyers $500 a year in energy costs compared to similar sized homes.
“In this housing market where costs continue to rise, homebuyers can be confident that an EPS-rated home will be comfortable, durable and will help save money on utility bills,” said Lizzie Rubado, program strategies manager at Energy Trust.
The large and growing number of EPS homes demonstrates how Oregon home builders have embraced efficient homes, including developer Legend Homes.
“In a home that we want to be serving its occupants well a hundred years from now, we think it is important that we get the systems behind the walls correct,” said Mike Goodrich, vice president at Legend Homes. “EPS allows us to work with our Energy Trust consultants to design efficient systems and homes, verify those systems are installed properly during construction and then physically test each home to see how the installed systems perform.”
“EPS, for the first time in Oregon, gives homeowners a reliable gauge with which they can compare the anticipated performance of a home they intend to purchase with other homes on the market,” Goodrich said.
To learn more about the features of newly built EPS homes, or to find an EPS-rated home you can tour, visit www.energytrust.org/smarthomebuyer.
Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $2.3 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.