Editorial: The New Energy Star Homes Standards: A Rater's Perspective

May/June 2006
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2006
        Every year on July 4, I’ve found myself listening to a reading of the Declaration of Independence on National Public Radio. Perhaps because I am advancing in age, the part about people being “disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,” rather than change the things “to which they are accustomed” has taken on a deeper meaning for me.         I am not fond of change. Nevertheless I have made the transition to the new guidelines for Energy Star-certified homes. This may seem a bit early, since homes enrolled in utility programs before December 31, 2005, and homes permitted before July 1, 2006, can receive the Energy Star Homes label under the old rules until the end of this year. But to maintain a consistent message to builders, I’ve chosen to break with the old regime already.         One can see now that a change was inevitable. The old rating scores were based on reference homes meeting the 1993 Model Energy Code. Homes consuming equivalent amounts of space-heating,water-heating, and spacecooling energy (after adjusting for size, location, and heating fuel) scored an 80. In 1995, ...

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