Colorado is working to move it’s energy efficiency and Zero Net Energy (ZNE) housing market forward. The Colorado Energy Saving Mortgage program, which administers financing for people purchasing energy-efficient homes or home improvements to increase energy efficiency, was signed into law on May 28th. A property’s Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score will help determine the maximum mortgage value. The lower the HERS score, the more energy-efficient the home is. For new homes with a HERS score of zero, the maximum value of the mortgage would be $8,000. For new homes with a higher HERS score, or for home improvements, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) will determine the maximum mortgage value.
In addition to an $8,000 mortgage incentive, homebuyers will benefit further from lower energy bills, which can be used to offset any cost increase on a Zero Net Energy home. Read more and see a cost study example on energy efficiency improvements provided by Architecture 2030
HOW CAN PREMIER SIPS HELP YOU REACH ZERO NET ENERGY? An energy efficient home provides its owners with so many benefits, like increased home comfort, lower utility bills, and a better quality of life to name but a few. It’s no wonder that more and more Americans are opting for energy retrofits.
Premier SIPS form a very air tight building envelope. The first step to achieving a low HERS score is to start with a tight building envelope. A tight envelope reduces the energy used for heating and cooling and coupled with other energy-efficient technologies a home can reach zero net energy. Whereas insulation R-values measure the thermal resistance of insulation in a cavity, whole-wall testing measures the insulating ability of an entire wall section, taking into account the thermal bridging of studs and other structural properties of the walls. As much as 45% of a home’s energy use is for heating and cooling, making a well-insulated, tight building envelope a critical factor in zero net energy.
In comparative testing of SIP construction and stick framing, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that SIPs have a 47% higher whole-wall R-value than a typical stud wall. A 3.5-inch-thick core SIP had a whole-wall R-value of 14.09 versus 9.58 for 2-by-4 studs at 16 inches on center with fiberglass batt insulation. Looking at building envelope performance from another angle, the laboratory conducted blower door tests that demonstrated SIP construction is 15 times less leaky than standard wood framing. Because SIPs are manufactured in a controlled environment and are delivered in large-sizes, building with them requires significantly fewer joints to be sealed. The bottom line result is that SIPs can help reduce heating and cooling demands up to 50 percent to 60 percent over conventional construction and allow for installation of smaller HVAC systems.
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FIND INCENTIVES & REBATES IN YOUR STATE:
STATE TAX INCENTIVES & REBATES: Searchable database of renewable energy financial incentives by state.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Energy Efficiency
FEDERAL TAX INCENTIVES & REBATES: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy link to financial assistance for business and industry.
EERE Guide to Rebates