When Tamee and George Simbles moved into their 3,100-square-foot home last week, they became the first family to reside in a new SRP Energy Star Home. For Tamee, there were certain must-haves when house hunting. She wanted to downsize to a single-story home “with less space to clean” but still needed a bonus room so her three boys had their own space, and energy efficiency topped her list.
“We moved from Austin, Texas, and our last two electric bills were $425 and our water bill was $425,” Simbles lamented. “We’ve lived here before and know bills can be expensive in the summer. We were looking to lower our bills and knew that we could.”
The Simbles have purchased five new homes in 18 years. Tamee said they knew precisely what they wanted and found it at Maracay Homes’ Whispering Heights community at Lindsay and Chandler Heights roads in Chandler.
“When we saw what our average monthly bill would be for electricity, we were shocked. We are going to have so much savings,” Simbles added. “The average monthly bill should be $197 a month. That’s almost half of what our old bill used to be.”
“SRP partners with Maracay Homes and other local builders to help ensure the homes are built and certified to the Energy Star level of energy efficiency,” said Debbie Kimberly, SRP’s Director of Customer Programs & Marketing. “While SRP has a long tradition of fostering higher efficiency in new homes, we recently partnered with the nationally recognized Energy Star program to continue growing this initiative.”
SRP’s program follows Energy Star Version 3 guidelines and includes additional HVAC and water-efficiency improvements important to living in a desert climate.
“Building a sustainable, affordable and greener way of living is a core value at Maracay Homes,” said Andy Warren, President of Maracay Homes. “We are proud to build homes that stand up to SRP’s Energy Star Homes standards. Welcome home, Simbles family.”
There are many benefits to purchasing an SRP Energy Star Home. The homes:
- Are 30 percent or more energy efficient than homes built to standard code
- Are 50 to 60 percent more energy efficient than most existing homes
- Save $1,400 or more a year compared with typical existing homes
- Use up to 20 percent less water compared with existing and even new homes
“There are so many features that are on this home that have not been in our previous homes, like the radiant barrier in our attic, improved windows, plus energy-efficient light bulbs, a programmable thermostat and motion sensors so the kids can’t leave lights on anymore,” Tamee said.
Health and comfort are two of the most important benefits. The homes are built tight to keep conditioned air in, which also keeps dirt, pollen and pollutants out. Every home is required to have a fresh-air ventilation system that brings in clean, fresh air. Like the building envelope, the ductwork is also tested to minimize leakage. The air-conditioning system is designed to be the right size for the home, and it is tested to ensure each room has the proper flow and pressure balance.
“When insulation, ductwork and air-conditioning systems are designed, installed and tested properly, the home functions much, much better — resulting in increased energy efficiency and a more comfortable and healthy place to live,” said Rebecca Smout, SRP Key Account Manager.
To be certified as an SRP Energy Star Home, a home must undergo third-party testing and inspection of everything from the quality of the insulation installed to the refrigerant charge of each air-conditioning unit. The home’s performance level is represented by the HERS Index, a nationally recognized system for measuring home performance.
“It’s a lot like the miles-per-gallon sticker on a car. It gives homebuyers a point of reference for how much energy the home will use,” Smout added.
Homes in the SRP Energy Star program will typically have a HERS Index of 70 or below, which means they are expected to perform at least 30 percent better than a new home built to the code minimums. For the Simbles, it all adds up to peace of mind, because they know they’ve made the right decision.
“When we found out our house was going to be the first one to be completed, we were so excited,” Tamee said. “Maracay Homes is everything we wanted. It’s neat being a pioneer and coming back to Arizona. It’s a nice welcome home.”
Video courtesy SRP
To learn more about the SRP Energy Star Homes program, visit srpnet.com/energystarhomes.