THE DETAILS ON ENERGY STAR CERTIFICATION T he ENERGY STAR certified home la- bel might appear small, a mere three

in indoor air quality, noise reduction, overall better humidity and moisture control to increase your comfort levels. Requirements Efficiency Properly installed systems deliver premium performance, use less ener- gy, often include extended warranty coverage, and reduce noise output. Certified Installation ENERGY STAR requires a trained HVAC professional design and install on all heating and cooling systems in homes that wish to be awarded the ENERGY STAR certification. House-wide mechanical ventilation Create a better overall living envi- ronment by having a constant source of filtered air to reduce indoor air pollutants. WATER PROTECTION SYSTEM This durable package of best-building practices and materials protects roofs, walls and foundations from water damage. Requirements for Certification • Proper selection of materials and storage help to prevent water and mold damage in materials. • Tested building practices such as the use of flashing, moisture barriers and the use of heavy duty membranes effectively drain water from roofs, walls and away from foundations. prove energy efficiency throughout a home enables you to rest easy, knowing your tenants (and you) will enjoy the reduced energy costs throughout their occupancy. If the home is sold, you can take pride in knowing you are selling a home that is as efficient as possible while, at the same time,

by five inches, but it stands for something really big. That little label means that a home has undergone a rigorous process of independent inspections and testing to ensure it meets strict U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Some of those testing processes include the evaluation of the following systems. This system ensures, air tight seals, properly installed insulation, and high-performance windows. All three facets work coopera- tively to create high comfort levels, improve overall durability, reduce maintenance costs over time, and lower monthly utility bills. Requirements Properly Installed Insulation Quality over quantity makes a big difference. Proper placement avoids gaps in the insulation and prevents air from bypassing it through building techniques designed to reduce heat flow through a home’s framing. High-Performance Windows These windows keep the cold out in winter and heat out in summer. They may have protective coatings, improved frames and even gas between the panes of glass. HIGH ENERGY EFFICIENT HEATING & COOLING These systems are engineered and installed to create an environment rich COMPLETE THERMAL ENCLOSURE SYSTEM satisfied with their home’s efficiency. With an energy outlook like that, an in- vestor can easily and relatively inexpensively make a property look far more attractive to both renters and buyers by investing in the ubiquitous ENERGY STAR label. Installing several of the less expensive items to im-

EFFICIENT LIGHTING & APPLIANCES ENERGY STAR homes boast ENERGY STAR appliances. Certified lighting, ap- pliances and fans help to reduce monthly utility bills. Requirements Advanced Lighting ENERGY STAR-certified bulbs and fixtures come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be purchased at your favorite home improvement store. ENERGY STAR Certified Appliances Household appliances account for close to 11 percent of an average home’s energy use. So a comprehensive, certified appliance package will improve appliance performance, durability, quality and of course, reduction in overall energy costs. These appliances include certified dish- washers, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, ceiling fans, and ventilation fans. Information provided by Everything from windows to toaster ovens may be ENERGY STAR certified. Be sure you understand how each item’s unique certification affects property values rather than buying the label blindly.

Real estate investors who truly understand the metrics behind the ENERGY STAR label can better attract buyers and renters to their investment properties.


cation for companies and their products, implements third party testing and certi- fication criteria within an EPA approved laboratory. Within the more than 70 categories are item specific specifications to ensure the highest possible standards of energy efficiency and quality that an appli- ance model must meet before earning the ENERGY STAR label. Qualifying appli- ances run the gamut from microwaves to geothermal heat pumps to residential and commercial buildings. INVESTING GREEN CAN PUT MORE GREEN IN YOUR POCKET From 2005 to 2015, consumer energy costs increased by 34 percent. Those costs continue to rise and consumers are becom- ing increasingly aware of these expenses. As a result, it is important for you to be aware of energy efficiency in your proper- ties and deals as well. In 2014, The Demand Institute surveyed more than 10,000 households about their current living situations and what they believe is important in the home. The institute found that energy efficiency was important to 71 percent of the respon- dents, and only 35 percent were currently

by Heather A. Elwing

ou’ve seen the sticker thousands of times on your own appliances and on those for sale in retail stores. Among the aisles and aisles of appliances there is one universal name, ENERGY STAR. You probably already know that the ENERGY STAR sticker displayed on appliances shows you how much you can save annually by purchasing that appliance, but what exactly is ENERGY STAR? There’s a lot more to this label than just energy savings. THE BIRTH OF A STAR The ENERGY STAR program was born of the Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 103(g) in conjunction with the Depart of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program stipulated that the Y

CAA administrator create a program that would help reduce energy usage for con- sumers and reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. According to, the purpose of the program is to “conduct a basic engineering research and technol- ogy program to develop, evaluate, and demonstrate nonregulatory strategies and technologies for reducing air pollu- tion.” As of December 2013, the ENER- GY STAR program has saved consumers more than $295 billion on utility bills alone and prevented 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Heather A. Elwing is the assistant editor for Think Realty Magazine and is a licensed Realtor in Missouri working on her GREEN designation. She may be

STANDARDS OF EFFICIENCY To achieve these elevated energy savings, the program, which is a volunteer certifi-

reached at

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