Homebuyers in the Ontario area can now add energy efficiency to the list of features they are looking for in a newly built home, with help from Energy Trust of Oregon and area builder, Agile Homes.

Energy Trust is a nonprofit organization working with builders throughout Oregon to offer EPS TM, an energy performance scoring tool that can help homebuyers review the expected energy use, carbon impact and monthly utility costs of a newly built home as easily as a miles- per-gallon rating for a car. It also helps homebuyers compare these features while shopping.

Agile Homes, a local builder specializing in energy-efficient homes in the Western Treasure Valley, is the first builder to bring EPS-rated homes to Ontario. The company completed its first five EPS-rated homes last fall with features such as tankless water heaters, increased insulation and energy-efficient appliances.

“We decided to build with an EPS rating because it puts an actual numerical value on how much better an EPS-rated home is compared to standard construction,” said Mike Smith, co-owner, Agile Homes. “We are already planning to build all future homes in Oregon with the score.”

To receive an EPS, a home is inspected by a third-party verifier and assigned a numerical score — the lower the EPS, the better. Factors such as a home's size, level of insulation, air leakage, heating and cooling systems, major appliances, lighting and water heating are all part of the home’s score. The rating also shows how much more efficient a home is compared to a home of similar size built to Oregon building code standards.

“Builders offering EPS are helping to lead the way to promote more energy-efficient new home construction and encourage homebuyers to consider a home’s energy consumption as part of their buying decision,” said Matt Braman, residential program manager, Energy Trust. “Buyers learn how a home’s energy use affects it s overall operating costs over time.”

Ontario homebuyers can learn more about Agile Homes and get listings of available properties at www.agile-homes.com or by calling 208-695-4546. To learn more about EPS from Energy Trust, visit www.energytrust.org/eps.

EPS is a voluntary rating and available on a variety of newly built homes for sale. In Ontario, to qualify for an EPS, the home must be a gas-heated home with fuel from Cascade Natural Gas.


Source: Energy Trust of Oregon