This Dallas Habitat for Humanity Home Is Energy Efficiency in Action

R6-curry

Last week, during our Energy Efficiency Week of Action, I had the pleasure of visiting an energy efficient home in a Dallas neighborhood. The home I visited was being built as part of last year’s commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the Texas Section of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and together with Habitat for Humanity they built a great home that is green and affordable.

These homes include many energy efficiency features including passive lighting, high efficiency windows and doors, spray foam insulation, tankless water heating, low volatile organic compounds paint, and ecofriendly materials. Some even have solar panels and rainwater harvesting. Because of these construction methods, these homes have received the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

Last week we also launched our Energy Star Home Advisor, an online tool designed to help Americans save money and improve their homes’ energy efficiency. This tool guides homeowners through do-it-yourself energy assessments to create Energy Star home profiles. The Home Advisor uses these profiles to provide customized, prioritized recommendations.

You can do many easy things to save money and improve energy efficiency in your home. Some of my favorite tips from the Energy Star Home Advisor are:

  • Get a home energy audit.
  • Seal and insulate all windows and doors.
  • Heat efficiently by checking your heating unit and by changing the filters often.
  • Use a programmable thermostat.
  • Choose Energy Star certified LED bulbs and electronics, and decorate for the holidays with Energy Star lighting.

Plinius Secundus, a Roman philosopher, said “Home is where the heart is.” Almost two thousand years later, Habitat for Humanity continues this tradition and has even improved it. Quality, affordable housing can also be energy efficient. Not only will the homes save homeowners money on their energy bills, they will also help protect our environment.

My visit to this Habitat house shows that all homes can be energy efficient and also affordable. The new saying should now be “an energy efficient and quality home is where the heart is.”

About the author: Ron Curry is the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 6, overseeing EPA operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 tribal nations. He has more than 36 years of management experience in local, state, and federal government, as well as the private sector. Ron also served as administrator for the Village of Los Ranchos and as a city manager in Santa Fe. Previously, Ron served on the Rocky Mountain Low-Level Radioactive Waste Board, an interstate government agency, from 2003 thru 2010. Ron has over 20 years of experience in private business including 10 years owning a small business franchise started with his father.

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