The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been laboring to find more ways for consumers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Those efforts recently blended with the work of the Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA) when the non-profit organization commissioned America's most prolific home builder, Clayton Homes, to construct three houses for a 15-month energy-performance test. The final results included one of the the Clayton Homes' houses becoming the only home in the nation to qualify for the DOE Challenge Home Program.
"A DOE Zero Energy Ready Home is a high-performance home that is so energy efficient, that a renewable-energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption," according to a DOE statement published by Business Wire which went on to say that the DOE's Builders Challenge Program "represents a whole new level of home performance."
Southern Energy Homes, Inc. (SEhomes), a subsidiary of Clayton Homes, completed the three SBRA test houses at their home-building facility in Double Springs, Ala with each representing differing levels of energy efficiency. One home meets HUD thermal requirements, another complies with the standards of an Energy Star (r) qualified home and the third is the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home.
"The SBRA testing process is a milestone in our industry's pursuit of the efficient use of energy," said Keith Holdbrooks, president of CMH Manufacturing, Inc., Clayton Homes' manufacturing division, according to Business Wire. "We are proud that Clayton Homes has the opportunity to demonstrate its leadership in innovation."
Since 2008, the DOE's Builders Challenge Program has recognized hundreds of achievements in home-building energy efficiency which have led to millions of dollars in energy savings and more than 14,000 new energy-efficient homes. If you live in the Maryland area and want to learn about how efficient your home's energy output is through an energy audit, or more about home energy efficiency in general, just schedule an appointment with leading home inspection company Alban Inspections!