The Energy Star rating: an emerging trend in Summit County |

The Energy Star rating: an emerging trend in Summit County


According to the Rocky Mountain Institute the average American family spends about $1,900 annually on energy and produces around 26,000 pounds of Carbon dioxide per year. Homes in this country account for about 20 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Many builders and organizations in Summit County are joining in the effort to reduce these numbers by using and promoting the Energy Star Rating System. This program is backed by the US Department of Energy and the EPA in an effort to greatly increase efficiency of homes across the country.

A fully equipped Energy Star home may operate on 30 to55 percent less energy than one with standard products. That translates to $500 or more in savings annually per home.

Energy Star works with over 1,000 manufactures and determines products that reach all requirements for an energy star rating.The EPA has also found ways to reduce builder cost when testing homes for the Energy Star rating so that owners can be reassured with verification, while at the same time avoiding too much extra capital from the builder.

There are around 989 Energy Star Rated Homes in Colorado. If you combine the emission reduction of all of these homes it is equivalent to that produced by 13,944,900 miles of car travel (5,578 tons of Carbon dioxide) and monetary savings totaling around $578,000. By 2012 Energy Stars goals are to avoid as much as 50 MMTCE (Million Metric tons of Carbon Equivalent), or in other words equal to emissions from more than 30 million vehicles.

The Governor’s Energy (GOE) office for the State of Colorado has also embraced the Energy Star Rating System. They are working together with more than 50 community organizations, local governments, utilities, home-owner associations and rating partners to promote the construction and testing of new energy-efficient homes. Our own High Country Conservation Center, Town of Frisco and Town of Breckenridge are some of those involved.

Summit County’s recent Parade of Homes presented four homes that have obtained the Energy Star Rating. Among those was a Home in Breckenridge at 82 Victory Lane. Its Energy Star certification proves that it is 55% more efficient than a home of similar size with standard products. This five-bedroom home spared no expense with glass framed elevator, gourmet kitchen and climate controlled wine room. It reflects true luxury with dining for 16, two living areas and a theater all structured with beautiful timber, stone, steel and glass. Some of the more efficient products include being equipped for solar panels, condensing boilers, advanced sealing package, heat recovery ventilation, and high

quality windows.

High Country Conservation Center and GOE presented the Builder of 82 Victory Lane, David Koons of Kodiak Mountain Homes an Energy Star award at the Summit County Builders reception after the parade. Carly Weir, Executive director of HCCC said, “Having four beautiful homes become ENERGY STAR certified in the Parade of Homes this year truly does prove that we can build beautiful, luxurious and sustainable homes in Summit County.”

The other three builders that went to great lengths to incorporate Energy Star products include Apex Mountain Homes with their home at 1184 Discovery Drive in Breckenridge, 240 Elk Circle built by Hedges Mountain Homes and 561 Elk Circle built by McCrerey Fine Homes.

Energy Star Ratings can be reached by new and old homes. Whether it is new construction or retrofitting an older home with Energy Star products there are ways to make every home more efficient and in turn reduce your energy bills. While the homes in the Parade did not carry a small price tag Energy Star is working to rate homes of all price ranges including all new military-family homes and affordable housing across the nation.

For information on Energy Star homes, as well as companies and builders who participate in the Energy Star Program, please contact Kallie Vaughan at RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, 305 Main St., Frisco. Call her at (970) 903-4305 or e-mail Kallie is a Realtor and holds a degree in environmental biology. It is her goal to bring more attention to Green Real Estate practices in Summit County.

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