Parade of Homes features an Energy Star home - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/10/09

Parade of Homes features an Energy Star home

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The 2009 Parade of Homes is in full swing and organizers promise something for everyone. In fact, one home is completely energy efficient.

This is one of the featured houses in this year's Parade of Homes, and before it was even built, energy efficiency was the goal. "We looked at the way the home would be oriented on the lot and we made sure we were maximizing the efficiency of the design for this lot," said builder Larry Driskill.    

Driskill says, after a good design, to make a home an Energy Star takes good insulation, tight construction, and windows that don't leak. "You don't want your energy efficient house to look like a hovel, so I still have window on the front facing south. That's not a terribly bad deal, but windows on the front facing west, is kind of hard to make up for," said Driskill.  

Even the light bulbs play a crucial role. "The fixtures in this house are Energy Star lights and they will not take a regular screw in light, they have special lights which prevent you from coming in and destroying the efficiency of light by putting an incandescent light in," said Driskill. 

Probably one of the most important energy efficient aspects of the home is the foam insulation. "In a normal house, in a code built house without foam it would probably be 130 degrees up here on a normal summer day in Lubbock. The equipment works a lot more efficiently in 75 degree air than in 130 degree air obviously," said Driskill.   

Because of the special insulation, the house uses an air conditioner half the size of others. "The heater is the same thing - it's a 90 percent heater. Ninety percent of the natural gas that the heater burns is converted in to be used to heat the house," said Driskill.   

Driskill says the cost of this home compared to a similar less energy efficient model would increase a monthly mortgage payment by $45, but the savings would exceed the cost. "The energy savings every month are going to be more than $45 probably more like $70," said Driskill. 

The Parade of Homes runs through Sunday, June 21st. The parade times are Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

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