Written by Rafal Olan
Thinking of building a new home?
Today we are fortunate to build and live in the Arkansas’ Entergy territory. As of this year, the New Homes Program was rolled out that offers generous incentives for builders and homeowners to build energy-efficient homes. The program is structured around its electrical savings for building better than the current Arkansas state building code but the savings for the new homeowner come from both the electrical and gas usage. The rebate is calculated for every kWh of savings compared to a code built house. The homebuilder / owner will get a rebate of $0.40 / kWh saved plus bonuses for achieving a certain percentage of savings ($200 for 10%, $250 for 15%, and so on), as well as an additional $100 for certifying the home as Energy Star. All this translates to a free Energy rating during the construction, consultation, third party verification, and money in the pocket to the home-builder. The future homeowner will benefit by having a more comfortable house and yearly energy savings on the home’s day to day costs of living.
To give you some examples here’s a rundown of some numbers from recent Energy ratings completed on newly build homes throughout Arkansas: ( a HERS rating score is the national standard for comparing similar sized homes. This is like the MPG sticker for residential homes. HERS 100 is the national average, code built new home. HERS 130 is the average existing, resale home. The 100 compares to the % of energy use. HERS 130 will use 130% of energy compared to a similar home and HERS 60 will use 60% of energy, or in another words, it will be 40% more efficient. )
|City||Size of Home(sq. ft.)||HERS score||Percent better||Cost of living (home’s yearly energy expanses)||Savings per year (compared to an average home on the market, HERS 130)||Entergy Incentive (maximum rebate caps at $1,500)|
|North Little Rock||900||67||33%||$ 1,028||$ 647||$ 771|
|Harrison ( ES )||1300||73||27%||$ 1,253||$ 699||$ 1,289|
|Benton / Bryant||1700||70||30%||$ 1,554||$ 996||$ 1,488|
|Sheridan||2800||52||48%||$ 1,792||$ 1,675||$ 1,500|
|Little Rock ( ES )||3600||59||41%||$ 2,289||$ 2,042||$ 1,500|
Two of these homes, Harrison and Little Rock, were also certified as Energy Star Homes. The North Little Rock was built according to an older version of the Energy Star program requirements. All of these rated homes received pre-construction energy modeling, analysis of best use of energy-efficient construction detailing, on-site inspections and consultation, final third-party testing and verification, complete detailed reports and the final rating certifications. All of the costs associated with the Energy Rating are paid by the Entergy’s Incentive Program while the builder and/or homeowner gets assurances of quality built construction and energy-efficient new homes. The Arkansas Entergy New Homes Program is the best way to provide savings to the homebuilders and especially to all new homeowners.