How New Homes Are More Energy Efficient

As reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), homes built in the United States after the year 2000 are more energy efficient than those built before 2000. This may not come as a surprise to most of our readers, but the reasons behind this increase in energy efficiency is important to note.

One additional piece of information that complicates this statistic is the fact that homes built after the year 2000 tend to be about 30 percent bigger than their older counterparts. The increased size intuitively would lead to an increase in total energy consumption, but the advancements in energy efficient construction and technology have been enough to make even larger buildings consume less energy.

Newer homes use about 20 percent less energy to heat their internal space, despite the size increase in homes built after 2000, a shift attributable to advanced heating systems with fewer points of inefficiency. Stricter energy code regulation is also responsible for more efficient means of circulating that heat throughout the house. However, a shift in population locations to the south might be partially responsible for limiting the need to heat homes.

The electricity used for air conditioning has actually increased in homes built after 2000, though this is not an accurate reflection of the energy efficiency improvements of new homes. The increased demand is a reflection of a greater portion of the population using the air conditioning units, rather than there being a lack of efficiency. In fact, air conditioners are more than 50 percent more efficient now than just a few decades ago.

The energy code regulations and improved standards of windows and insulation of new homes are the factors primarily responsible for their energy efficient advantages. If you’re considering buying a home, consider buying a recently built one to take advantage of the energy savings, and as always take a look at our eCAP program to find the most competitive energy prices in your area.