Energy Efficient homes in Wisconsin
These days it’s not just how much your new home is going to cost to build that matters. Things like the cost of your monthly utility bills, air quality and your impact on the environment also matter. Belman Homes partners with Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy in an effort to offer our clients a higher standard in energy efficiency and conservation of natural resources. Belman Homes is truly concerned about energy usage and conservation. Focus on Energy certified new homes are just one of the many options Belman Homes offers to conserve energy and lower your utility bills on your new home. It is a great step towards Green Building and reducing our carbon footprint. Plus you can live in a healthier home with reduced emissions and better indoor air quality. We are a Milwaukee-area green home builder and proudly construct the majority of our homes to these standards.
Why Build an Focus on Energy Certified Home?
•Homes built in the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Certified Homes program provide you the peace of mind that they are better built. And it is proven through third party verification and testing.
•Certified Wisconsin Focus on Energy Homes are more comfortable, safe, and durable.
•Wisconsin Focus on Energy Certified Homes are estimated to be 25% more energy efficient than those built to Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Codes.
•You will be building to the standards that are appropriate for Wisconsin’s extreme climate and lowering your energy bills for years to come.
•They are typically 20-30% more efficient than standard homes.
Recently, one of our new ENERGY STAR certified homes was tested with REM/Rate Residential Energy Analysis and Rating. Below are the energy cost savings per year:
Water Heating $87
Total Savings $1546
In addition, the home also prevented 37,000 lbs. of Carbon Dioxide CO2, 159 lbs. of Sulfur Dioxide SO2, and 103.5 lbs. of Nitrogen Oxides emissions per year. Not only is a new home more energy efficient but it safer for the environment and your family.
Remember, it’s not just about obtaining the certification. Every new Belman Home is quality control checked at site during construction. Even little details such as small penetrations are looked for and resealed to obtain the highest rating possible. We constantly seek to improve our building methods and energy efficiency ratings of our homes so they are more comfortable, healthy and affordable for you.
Did you know?
The cost for preforming these tests and methods is included in all of our new homes (except those with a masonry chimney). All homes already include the necessary features required in the program. A recent certified 2400 sq. ft. home of our saved $763 over a code built home. That is over $63 a month in savings! Read more about it in our builder blog.
What is HERS rating?
HERS is a rating system on homes to determine how energy efficient the home is. Think homes version of MPG. Read more about HERS ratings and how it can save you money in our blog.
Geothermal Cost Savings
Belman Homes just completed a full 1 year Study on a Geothermal Home Verses a Conventional Home. Using actual data from We Energies tracking gas and electric usage from December 2008 to November 2009 we able see a pattern on energy savings over a course of a year. Belman used a side-by-side condo located at 1129 and 1127 Woodland Hills Drive, Waukesha WI for it’s comparison. It was a near perfect example as both units faced the same direction were attached side by side and were the same square feet, floor plan and construction. The conventional home utilized a 92% efficient Lennox Single Stage Furnace and 13 seer air conditioner. The Geothermal Home included a Waterfurnace geothermal heat pump, a vertical loop system with 4 150′ deep wells. The water heater was gas and supplemented by the Geothermal system.
A few key differences were that the Geothermal System was set at a constant 70 degrees all year round whereas the conventional home was set at 65 degrees in the winter and 75 degrees during the summer. The geothermal model also was open every weekend for open house and included additional appliances such as a computer, refrigerator, range, washer dryer, lamps and lights that had to be adjusted for.
The total utility costs for 2008-2009 on the conventional home were $2,199.15
The total utility costs for 2008-2009 on the geothermal home were $1,695.75
The total Natural Gas savings for one year on the geothermal system were $704.24
The savings on the Belman geothermal model would have been even larger had the homes been maintained at the same temperature. One can only speculate on the the savings but $900 or more per year is not out of the question.
Average Natural Gas Prices in the United States Between 1999 and 2008, the national annual average residential natural gas price more than doubled, from $6.69 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) to $13.68 per Mcf. The national average price of natural gas is only part of the story, as the prices in individual States can differ greatly. Source: US Energy Information Administration
Now knowing how natural gas cost have risen in the last ten years we can figure roughly a 10% increase each year on heating and cooling costs. Back in 2000 Natural Gas in Wisconsin was .4480 per therm. In 2009 Natural Gas in Wisconsin was .9849 per therm or over double in less than 10 years. This begs the question, “What is the pay back on a geothermal system?” A verticle Geothermal System costs $25,657 plus $1000 for wiring the breaker panel. We then deducted $11,135 for the furnace and air conditioner for a upgrade cost of $15, 522. If you factor in a 30% federal tax credit for geothermal systems which is approximately $7,690.10 your net cost on the system is $7,824.90. A horizontal system can be roughly $4,000 less for install but requires a larger field.
Factoring in the 10% annual gas increase the payback on a verticle system with the savings we obtained would be 7 years and 1 month. For a horizontal system the payback would be 5 years. After that time period homeowners would actually be making money on the systems.
If you would like more information please contact me and I would be happy to share the power point presentation will all the numbers and breakdowns. In summation, I can honestly say that Geothermal heating and cooling does actually work, and will pay itself off in a rather short period of time. In addition to all the savings you are also treated with a more consistant enviornment inside the home as well as knowing that you reduced your carbon footprint by not consuming as much fossil fuel.
-David Belman, Vice President Belman Homes, Inc. ©2010 Belman Homes, Inc.