If you’re a parent, you’ve probably used the phrase: “Shut the door, you’re wasting electricity.” The Environmental Protection Agency is taking that concept one step further with its Energy Star program.
The federal agency was in Scottsdale on Wednesday spreading the word to prospective home buyers that they can save money on electricity bills and help the environment by buying homes that meet Energy Star standards.
An Energy Star rating means the home uses less energy by being wellconstructed and tightly insulated. Homes are tested by outside certifiers to prove they meet agency standards.
“Its not just energy efficient,” said Jonathan Passe, spokesman for the Energy Star Residential Programs. “These homes are more comfortable, more durable and they cost less (in electricity).”
In the Valley, about 25 percent of the homes being built are meeting the Energy Star standards. Nationally, the number is about 10 percent.
Each Energy Starcertified home reduces 35 pounds of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere each year, which is equivalent to half the amount a car produces, Passe said.
In 2005 alone, these homes reduced greenhouse gas by about 35 million tons by using less electricity, and helped Americans save about $12 billion on their utility bills, he said.
The reduction in the electricity costs is significant, said Phoenix resident Bruce Freedle.
The bill for his 3,400-square-foot Energy Star home costs him an average of $125 a month. In comparison, his last home — which did not meet the standards — was 800 square feet smaller but cost the same in electric bills.
“If you can, get the homes that are going to save you money and be better for the environment,” Freedle said. “That’s the best way to go.”