ENERGY STAR Homes and Energy-Efficient Mortgages

Claudette Reichel  |  1/12/2007 6:40:40 AM

You can save money and be environmentally friendly at the same time by making your home an ENERGY STAR Home.

An ENERGY STAR Home meets guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. The home must achieve a computer-calculated rating, as verified initially by plans, then on-site by a certified home energy rater. ENERGY STAR-qualified homes are at least 15 percent more energy-efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC). Since July 1, 2006, the lower the rating number, the more energy-efficient the home is. A home that can generate as much energy as it uses (a “zero energy home”) earns a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating of 0.

Independent, third-party certification provides you or a buyer of your home credible assurance that it is truly energy-efficient. When planning energy-saving upgrades, an energy rating can serve as a financial decision-making tool. Rated homes are eligible for Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM) ENERGY STAR loans through participating lenders. EEMs allow borrowers to qualify for a larger loan as a result of the expected energy savings.

Get more information at http://www.energystar.gov/. To find an energy rater in your area, visit http://www.resnet.us/ or http://www.dnr.louisiana.gov/HERO (or call 1-800-836-9589).
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