New rating program designed to simplify the way builders can make new homes more efficient, comfortable and healthy.
MORRISVILLE, NC - Builders have a new option designed to make implementing energy efficiency improvements more efficient, through "ecoHOME," a program developed by Southern Energy Management (SEM). For years, builders have been adapting to changes from various other programs that are becoming more specialized and, often, more complicated. The purpose of ecoHOME is to simplify procedural requirements while maximizing the home's health, comfort and energy efficiency.
ecoHOME"Builders love being able to prove to their customers that a home will help them save money on utility bills. At the same time, though, they have been telling us they don't like having to comply with a long list of checklist items, whether or not every single one of those actually helps in the long run," said Building Performance Operations Director Michael Peaden. "By building ecoHOME Qualified Homes, builders can achieve those efficiency standards with a little leniency from requirements."
Instead of strict adherence to a system of rigid checklist requirements, SEM's building performance team uses a more builder-friendly formula that combines the RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) with common sense energy efficiency, water efficiency and indoor air quality requirements. Once a HERS Rater determines the home meets the prescriptive program requirements (typically a score of 75 or lower on the HERS index), he or she issues an ecoHOME certificate to the builder that they can then use to market the house to potential buyers. The reasoning behind this approach is that every home is unique, and this system gives builders the freedom to implement efficiency strategies that work best for their specific homes.
Since its conception in September of 2011 and through its implementation in April of 2012, more than 100 homes in North Carolina have already earned ecoHOME certifications. Initially, SEM offered the ecoHOME program as a beta test for five local custom homebuilders and one production builder; based on an extremely positive response, the company decided to make it available to all builders everywhere. Programs like LEED, ENERGY STAR, WaterSense and the NAHB National Green Building Standard have laid the foundation; Southern Energy Management wants ecoHOME to continue in that tradition. SEM expects many builders who might otherwise drop improvements in home energy efficiency will embrace ecoHOME due to the ease with which it can be implemented effectively.
For more information, visit the ecoHOME website at www.buildecoHOME.com. Homeowners can visit the consumer-focused ecoHOME page at www.getecoHOME.com.
Chris Cowperthwaite, SEM Communications Director
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About Southern Energy Management
Southern Energy Management is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency, green building and turn-key solar services for homeowners, builders, and business owners across the Southeast. A certified B Corp, SEM's two-part mission is to improve the way people make and use energy and to build a prosperous company that supports people and the planet. SEM was founded in a living room in Raleigh in 2001, and is now consistently recognized as an industry leader both locally and nationally. It is among a small handful of companies in the U.S. to earn the national 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award for being named Partner of the Year six consecutive times. SEM was named a CED NC Company to Watch in 2011 and received the 2011 City of Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2010 Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute & Green For All. For more information, visit www.southern-energy.com.