Interested, you should be, because this is one of the first homes in the Pittsburgh, PA area that is green, energy-efficient, affordable and pretty darn stylish as well. The property is called E lane @ Carnegie and it sits right off Washington Avenue in Carnegie, PA.
Because of its orientation to the road it can be easy to miss, but swing up the driveway and you will see an amazing modern prairie-style home that incorporates creative ideas, sustainable materials and elegant, simple living that is good for your pocketbook, health and the environment.
The two homes at E lane (there are plans for nine total) are ENERGY STAR® qualified homes, meaning they have been tested by an independent energy auditor who has assigned a HERS Index to the home. It takes into account things like insulation, air sealing, heating, cooling and other energy usage aspects of a home. In order for a home to be called an ENERGY STAR home if must beat an 85 on the HERS Index, which relates to a saving of at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code, and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.
Part of any Energy Rating is the report that not only shows the HERS Index score, but also specific details of the construction methods, mechanical systems, lighting, heating, cooling and appliances. A Certified Energy Auditor will test the home with high-tech tools like a blower door and duct blaster. These tools can tell how and where hot and cool air leaks in and out of a home. All this information, and existing utility bills (if any), are fed into a computer program that returns estimates of energy costs and how they can be affected by changes to a home. It also spits out the HERS Index.
Using this report it is possible to compare how one home stacks up against another. I decided to take a look at how E lane @ Carnegie would compare to a typical, older Pittsburgh home. By working with a local Energy Auditor, I was able to secure a rating on a comparable Pittsburgh home.
E lane @ Carnegie is a 1,100 square feet, single floor, 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom, and 2 Car Garage Home. It is built using SIP construction; foam air sealed and sits on an insulated crawl space. It is heated with a high-efficiency electric heat pump. Matter of fact, the home is all electric and qualifies for a reduced rate with Duquesne Light. E lane @ Carnegie has a HERS Index of 69.
The comparable home is a typical ranch you see in many local neighborhoods. It is 1,085 sq feet, single floor, 2 Bedroom, 1.5 Bathroom, and 1 Car Garage. It’s an older, brick home that sits on a full basement with the garage integrated. It is heated with a gas, forced air furnace that was new enough that replacement is not recommended. It achieved a HERS Index of 159.
So how did they stack up? Take a look:
E lane is the obvious winner with total energy costs of only $1,141 a year. If you look at just heating, you will see that at $319 a year, your average bill would only be $26.58 a month! The comparable homeowner will spend $4,309 a year on their energy bills, the majority to cover the $2,856 heating bill. Based on the Energy Reports, you could expect to save almost $264 a month on your utilities if you were to live here, rather than buying an older home somewhere else. It’s even more amazing when you think about how that plays out over time. In one year, you’ll save $3,168. In 10 years, you’ll save $31,680, just by making a smart home buying decision.
The story doesn’t end there, because all that energy you don’t use adds up to savings for the environment too. According to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program an ENERGY STAR home eliminates the emissions from 0.5 vehicles, saves 3,000 lbs of coal, is equal to planting almost an acres of trees and saves the environment 5,800 pounds of CO2 per year. Those are some pretty big numbers.
Of course, there are many other benefits to buying one of these green, energy-efficient homes like comfort, a great walk-able neighborhood, creative, no-maintenance landscaping, an ADA-friendly floor plan and a layout for modern living.
You can find out more going to www.elane.biz or contact me.
Want to see E lane @ Carnegie for yourself? Call Christa Ross from RE/MAX Select Realty, your certified green agent and RE/MAX green specialist at 724-309-1758 or visit my website at www.greenhomespgh.com.