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2018 Energy Star Rated Homes in the US - an Indicator of The Changing Demand for Energy by the Residential Sector

image credit: Fixr Blog

As private homeowners are educating themselves about the potential of alternative energy, they are looking for permanent ways to make a change in their daily lives. One of the biggest, foundation level changes, is to build an energy-efficient home. While there are many elements that can affect energy use in a home, building an energy star rated home is a good start. Keeping an eye on these numbers, nationally, will give an indication of how the demand for energy supply could change in the coming years. 

The numbers 

Fixr created a graphic based on the 2018 study by Energy Star, which looked at the total number of energy star rated homes, built in the US for that year.

The graphic shows the percentage of market share each state dedicated to Energy Star rated new builds compared to overall home new builds in the state. It also shows the total number of new builds, showing how many energy star homes have been added to each state.

Arizona led the pack with the highest market share of 57.7% energy star rated homes out of all new home builds, followed by Washington, DC with 43.3% and Maryland with 39.2%. Montana and North Dakota had the worst result with no new builds at all.

What is an Energy Star certified home?

Energy-star certified homes have to include specific efficiency features, that ensure an overall energy-efficient home. These homes use 20 to 35% less energy than traditional homes and can lead to energy costs savings of between $200 and $400 per year. Though the requirements differ for houses in hot and cool climates, the four focal points are the same:

  • An Energy Star rated thermal enclosure system. This includes creating a thermal envelope for the home, with features like double glazing, and sealing air leaks paying attention to trouble spots, to maintain a constant ambient climate.

  • An Energy Star rated HVAC system. This means installing an energy-efficient heating and/or cooling system that helps maintain the ambient temperature of the home- with low energy demands. 

  •  An Energy Star rated water management system, more specifically relating to the methods used to heat the water, and how excess heated/cooled water is used most efficiently.

  • Energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Using Energy Star rated appliances in an energy star rated home is the final step in ensuring financial savings and energy economy.

How this will affect the demand for energy and the energy utility industry?

Given that residential consumption accounted for 21.8% of total energy consumption in the U.S, and having an Energy Star rated home could cut down residential consumption by 35%, the changes in demand for energy could be significant.  

Currently, the U.S energy market is dominated by non-renewable sources, which provided 63% of energy outputs in 2018, according to the EIA. However, this is set to decline with a 2% drop by 2020 already, as the result of a slow down in total energy demand. More impressive than the decline of non-renewables however, is the growth of the renewable sector thanks to environmental regulations, and consumer demand pushing renewable energy to the fore. According to the EIA, utility-scale solar energy generation is projected to increase by 17% in 2020 and the total growth of renewable energy output across all types is set to equal the decline of non-renewables. Despite the slow down in energy, this means the type of energy generation accepted from utilities will begin to focus on renewables.

Energy utility companies need to monitor these changes and adapt to the evolving demand, providing energy from alternative sources and possibly identifying how a decline in energy demand overall, can be handled. 

Cristina Miguelez's picture

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