Modern new homes are generally built with energy efficiency in mind. Building materials used to increase energy efficiency typically include insulation, insulated windows, weather stripping on doors, and energy efficient appliances. However, there are measures beyond the standard that can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of a home. These extra efforts cut down on energy used, and can also result in qualifying the homeowner for a reduced rate from their energy company, as well as rebates for the builder.
Jackson EMC is one energy company offering this kind of program. Their Right Choice program recognizes the benefits that come from the small details. That means you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to qualify for the program, but a builder who follows the program can offer a tremendous added value to their customers by putting just a little more concentrated effort towards energy efficiency in the right places.
How much are the savings?
Right Choice homes are typically 20 to 30% more energy efficient on heating and cooling costs than standard homes. A three-year energy warranty guarantees that the Right Choice home’s heating and cooling energy costs will be below a specified amount each year.
What extra steps are involved?
In the ceiling, air can leak around rough openings between the sheet rock and the electrical and heating air vents. Sealing these openings in the ceiling with caulk or foam ensures hot summer air or cold winter air doesn’t come inside the envelope.
Sealing the outside walls is like putting a wind breaker on your home to prevent uncontrolled ventilation. A Right Choice Home uses the following methods to protect specific areas:
- Caulk the bottom plate to the floor
- Seal all wire penetrations and outside receptacles
- Seal the outside sheathing between all seams
- Caulk and seal areas where two wood pieces join
- Seal around windows
- Sheathing and blocking air from the knee wall and the floor insulation above the garage.
Ever felt cold winter air coming from an interior light switch or known someone whose pipes froze in their wall? These situations occur when cold air moves from unheated areas to heated ones. That’s why Right Choice standards require that the builder seal pipe, wire, and ductwork penetrations, preventing heat loss in winter — or loss of conditioned air in the summer.
Rewarding for Homeowners and Builders
Long-time Harbin Customer Sandstone Custom Homes is a passionate advocate of this program, and will not build a home that isn’t Right Choice certified. “It’s a wonderful program,” said Sonja Sanders, Sandstone Custom Homes. “When you can provide your customers a home that has a comfort guarantee, will reduce their energy usage, and give them a better rate on their electric bill, then it’s a no-brainer to us to do this for all our homes.”
In fact, Sandstone Custom Homes has done so well through the program that they recently received two major awards from Jackson EMC.
Sandstone’s Robert Sanders received the Gold Class 2018 Leadership Award in honor of upholding the standards of excellence of the program.
Sandstone also received the Gold Class 2018 Builder of the Year.
Congratulations to Sandstone Custom Builders!
For more information on the program, see the Right Choice Program’s informational website for builders here.