Summit County: What is that Energy Star logo, anyway? |

Summit County: What is that Energy Star logo, anyway?

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High Country Conservation Center is hosting an event this week for locals to learn more about what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star logo and designation actually mean.

An EPA official and a leader in energy-efficient construction education comes to the Silverthorne Pavilion from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday as part of a Colorado Road Show on Energy Star New Homes.

Sam Rashkin, the EPA’s national director of Energy Star new homes, has more than 20 years experience in residential energy-efficient design and construction. Gord Cooke is the president of Canada’s Building Knowledge and is known for helping contractors build efficient homes through education and sales tactics.

The event is hosted by the High County Conservation Center and the Governor’s Energy Office. HC3’s Jenny Stein said the presentation could be useful for business owners to learn how to market energy-efficiency toward clients – as well as learning how to apply efficiency to individual businesses.

The presentation costs $25, which includes lunch. Realtors can earn seven continuing educational units by attending.

The term Energy Star is used to refer to energy-efficient appliances and homes. It’s a joint program of the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy, designed to help save Americans money and protect the environment through sustainable home building, the Energy Star website states.

To earn the Energy Star, a home must be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code, Stein said. They must also include additional energy-saving features that make them about 20 to 30 percent more efficient than standard homes.

Stein said efficiency is most often accomplished using effective insulation to keep even temperatures throughout the house which reduces energy consumption. They also often feature high-performance windows, tight construction, effective heating and cooling and adequate indoor ventilation.

According to Stein and High County Conservation Center data, 44 percent of all new built homes were Energy Star qualified. Two of Summit County’s new affordable housing developments – Valley Brook in Breckenridge and Peak One in Frisco – are to be Energy Star certified.

She added that many Energy Star-qualified homeowners report utility bills that are a third to a half of what they were before investing in an energy-efficient home.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Jenny Stein before Wednesday at (970) 668-5703 or

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun can be contacted at (970) 668-4630 or at

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