Illinois Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient in 2013

January 01, 2013

chicago real estate energy savings

A new energy code goes into effect today that will save homeowners hundreds of dollars on their utility bills, as the state is requiring that all newly built single-family homes must have a more energy-efficient “envelope.” An “envelope” includes the following key components of a home: foundation, floor systems, walls (interior and exterior) and the roof system.

Energy saving changes will come in the form of upgraded insulation, energy-efficient windows, upgraded bathroom vents, high-efficiency lighting, insulated hot water lines and air sealing around furnaces. All Chicago new homes will also be subject to a blower door test, where a fan is attached to the exterior door of a home to test the amount of air leakage.

It is estimated that the changes will increase new home prices anywhere from $1,775 to $4,600, but will also cut back on the cost of homeowner energy bills by about $350 a year.

Since homes and commercial buildings use 70 percent of electricity, states are required to update their energy code every three years.

While some residents aren’t thrilled about the increase in home prices, energy-efficient homes have increased in popularity overall in the past year. There has been a 10 percent growth rate in the building and design of ENERGY STAR® home plans, and the construction of “green” single-family homes made up 17 percent of the entire home building market!

Judging by the recent predictions that sustainability will be a huge trend in 2013, it looks as if energy-efficient home building is here to stay.

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Jessica Thom

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As Chairman of the Energy Efficiency Initiatives for the Home Builders Association of Illinois I can honestly say that this will create a better home for IL residents. It will require all parties involved to work as a team to build a home. It will have 3rd party verification and many more inspections to achieve this higher level of construction.
But it will also require builders to know a lot more about building science and what they are doing. Builders and architects in the the Home Builders Assoc. have received courses on doing all of this. For consumers it means they need to find out just what their builder really knows.

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