Maryland takes lead in constructing energy efficient homes

A new development in Frederick, Maryland is aiming to double the number of Emerald rated homes, the highest certification for energy efficiency, in the country.

The 55 homes are being constructed by Nexus Energy Homes in the North Pointe area near Bentz Street. Each house will feature a variety of new environmentally friendly technologies that will leave homeowners with virtually no costs on their energy bills.

On Wednesday, Maryland GOvernor Martin O'Malley toured one of the model units, and lauded the builders for their achievements.

"I'm just very impressed," O'Malley told the Maryland Gazette, adding that in 30 or 40 years, this kind of construction will be the standard for new residences.

The efforts to promote energy efficiency throughout the state are part of a collaboration between federal, state and municipal governments to incentivize green living. One benefit homeowners will receive is tax credits for utilizing technologies such as solar panels and geothermal heating into their houses.

One homeowner who spoke with the source explained that her first electric bill after moving into one of the Nexus Energy Homes was only 50 cents. Even the small amount she did owe was primarily a fee from the energy company, as her bills since have been less than a nickel.

Malcolm D. Woolf, director of the Maryland Energy Administration, stated in the story that the state is currently "decades ahead" of others throughout the country in adopting energy efficient practices.

To help Maryland maintain its role as leader in green living, homeowners should seek an energy audit or a home inspection to learn how they can be more environmentally friendly.