- energy efficiency - 

after partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005, Custom Homes by Hamrick has built 64 Energy Star homes.

 

we’ve always specialized in building extremely efficient homes. in fact, our homes typically use 30% to 40% less energy than comparable houses built by others.


but predicting energy savings and providing energy savings are two different things. about anybody can get an Energy Star label. So we took it a step further and started guaranteeing the heating and cooling bills on our homes.


here’s how that works.

 

our building science consultant performs simulation calculations to determine heating and cooling costs. we use that prediction and guarantee the actual costs won’t exceed it.

 

if the actual use exceeds our prediction,

we pay the difference.

we have yet to write the first check.

 

at 340 fairfax, we wanted to raise the bar even further. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH), represents a whole new level of home performance. it demands rigorous requirements that ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health and durability. and everything must be verified by a third party.


with the help of our team members we are proud to say that 340 Fairfax has earned recognition by the DOE as

the first Zero Energy Ready Home

in Winston-Salem.

and, its one of only nine in all of North Carolina.


with a HERS Index score of 17, 340 fairfax will use about 80% less energy than a comparable new home.

 

PLUS, we’ve eliminated 13.4 tons of CO2 emissions every year for the life of the home.

 

Solar is cool. but our philosophy is “reduce before you produce.” we’ve already discussed many of the energy saving attributes in other sections. although insulation, caulk and windows are not as "sexy" as solar, reducing a home’s energy appetite before introducing solar is just a smarter way to build.


before adding solar, our HERS Index score was 51. that means we were poised to use about ½ the energy as a typical house without solar.

 

then Green State Power, another one of our outstanding trade partners added about 8,000 watts of solar electric. this plummeted our HERS Index to 17.

after the dust settles, we expect our total energy cost for 4,200 sq. feet to average $50-$60 per month. but predictions are not good enough. so we’ve installed an energy monitor at 340 fairfax to see exactly how much we use. plus, it will show us here the energy is used. then we will know if the TV uses more energy than the ironing board.


we’ve decided to share that information with everyone.

check back soon for a link to see how we’re doing!