When Bruce and Nancy Seguine built their new ENERGY STAR® certified home in Lake Havasu two years ago, the couple was thankful that Bruce, a retired electrician, wouldn’t need to spend his retirement working on energy improvement projects.
“This is the first home we’ve owned where I didn’t need to spend a ton of time and money changing out windows, adding insulation and doing other improvements to improve our efficiency levels,” said Bruce, who enjoys flying, motorcycling and traveling the country with his wife. “I like not having to spend my days working on upgrades so I can just enjoy retirement.”
The couple talked with several builders before deciding to have Homes by Wiesner build their four-bedroom, two-bath Spanish-style ranch home. “Terry, the owner, was very knowledgeable about energy efficiency and we were impressed at the quality and efficiency of his homes,” added Nancy. “One of our main concerns was keeping our utility bills to a minimum.”
Wiesner is one of eight builders participating in UniSource’s Energy Smart Homes program, which helps builders meet and exceed strict ENERGY STAR home standards in terms of comfort, efficiency and safety. Statewide, 134 builders have collectively built nearly 218,000 ENERGY STAR homes, which are up to 20 percent more efficient than standard construction homes.
These quality-built homes have been tested, verified and certified to meet hundreds of critical construction and energy efficiency standards established by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Because buying a home is a big investment and you can’t see what’s behind the walls, buying a home from a UniSource builder partner that has the ENERGY STAR label assures buyers their homes will be comfortable and durable for many years. Just a few of the features of these ENERGY STAR homes include:
- Proper insulation in the walls and roof provides even temperatures throughout the home year-round, reducing energy use and improving comfort.
- High-performance low-E windows keep heat in during winter and out during summer, while blocking damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can fade carpet and furnishings.
- Tight construction in the home’s building envelope, in conjunction with sealed heating and cooling ducts, reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen and noise.
- A high-efficiency cooling and heating system saves energy and improves comfort.
- ENERGY STAR appliances, lighting, fans and fixtures all help trim the energy costs of everyday living.
Another homebuyer, Tammy Ward, also chose Wiesner to build a home for her and her husband in Parker’s Miraleste Shores Estates a few years ago. They, too, sought to reduce their energy costs, and they were especially concerned with cooling costs during the hot summer months.
“Keeping a home cool here in the summer requires a lot of power. Having an energy efficient home helps keep our cooling costs low. Last summer, the power went out at our home for about 16 hours while it was 106 degrees outside, but our home stayed a constant 82 degrees,” Ward said.
In the winter, she added, they rarely use the heater because the home’s tight envelope prevents cold drafts.
They’ve been so impressed with their home that several of their friends also have built ENERGY STAR homes based on their recommendation. “It’s definitely worth the extra upfront cost because it saves energy. We are very pleased with our home,” Ward said.
UniSource Technical Specialist Gabriel Esquibel, who helps builders meet the program’s high quality standards, said all of them are committed to excellence. “The builders in our Energy Smart Home program are passionate about the homes they build and are committed to energy efficiency and high-quality construction. They build homes to higher standards because they realize people want peace of mind that their home will be comfortable, efficient and durable for many years.”
Other UniSource Energy Smart Home builders include Arizona Homes, Cortif Enterprises, Country Haven Homes, DBU Homes, Inland Prestige Properties/Moran Az. Builders and Seville Homes. For a list of all ENERGY STAR builders in Arizona, visit Energystar.gov.