Utilities are increasingly looking to offer energy efficiency programs to meet regulatory obligations, reduce peak demand, and/or contribute to environmental protection. Voluntary partnerships are an important pathway for meeting these goals because energy efficiency delivers an impressive value proposition to both consumers and businesses. ENERGY STAR, the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency recognized by more than 85% of American households, provides a powerful platform for utilities implementing demand side management programs.
Residential buildings consume approximately 22% of the energy used in the United States each year. Therefore, working with the residential new construction market to ensure that homes are built to rigorous energy efficiency standards is an important opportunity to maximize end-use efficiency and avoid or postpone the construction of costly new power generation facilities.
ENERGY STAR certified homes are designed and constructed to be significantly more energy efficient than those built to code while lowering homeowner utility bills and providing superior comfort, quality, and durability. Homes built to the ENERGY STAR guidelines will be at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). As a result, sponsoring an ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program is an opportunity to promote energy efficiency in the residential market and to capture long-term peak and energy demand savings that can stand-alone or complement other residential energy efficiency initiatives.