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Nov 102009

Green Right Now Reports

Where there’s a need, there’s a way. Turns out that the biggest number of ENERGY STAR homes are being built in steamy Sunbelt locations where keeping the AC under control is an urgent need.

blankThe top market, with the most ENERGY STAR-qualified homes built since the program begin in 1995, is Houston, with 144,000 homes.

The next top cities with the most homes built to these guidelines include Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, according to a list released by the EPA, which announced today that there are now 1 million ENERGY STAR-qualified homes in the US.

The ENERGY STAR program requires that buildings take extra steps to conserve energy by using sufficient insulation, a tight building envelop, high-rated windows and efficient heating and cooling systems, making them 15 to 30 percent more energy efficient than homes built to standard code.

Along with passing the 1 million mark, the ENERGY STAR “label” for homes is growing in popularity, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

“This is an amazing achievement for the Energy Star program – but the real winners are the 1 million American families who have the chance to save money and keep harmful pollution out of the air. That’s great news for anyone who wants to cut costs and protect our planet,” Jackson said. “We’re going to keep the number of Energy Star homes growing, because every new Energy Star home is a step towards lower costs, cleaner air, and communities that are environmentally and economically sustainable. We’re giving everyday American homebuyers the power to lower their bills and join the fight against climate change.”

The EPA, which oversees ENERGY STAR, estimates that the existing ES-rated homes will save their owners, collectively, $270 million on their electric bills this year, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to operating 370,000 cars for the year.

The cities with the most Energy Star-qualified homes:

  • Houston, TX (144,000)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (103,000)
  • Las Vegas, NV (80,000)
  • Phoenix, AZ (73,000)
  • Greater Los Angeles, CA (57,000)
  • Greater New York, NY (25,000)
  • Tucson, AZ (19,000)
  • San Antonio, TX (19,000)
  • Sacramento, CA (18,000)
  • San Diego, CA (18,000)
  • Columbus, OH (17,000)
  • Des Moines, IA (16,000)
  • Indianapolis, IN (14,000)
  • Greater Philadelphia, PA/Wilmington, DE (12,000)
  • Boston, MA (10,000)
  • Denver, CO (7,800)
  • Orlando, FL (7,600)
  • Oklahoma City, OK (7,500)

Want to know more? You can take a virtual tour of an ENERGY STAR home at the program’s website. You also can find an ENERGY STAR builder in your home state or city, using the website’s builder finder.