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Share of Energy-Efficient Homes Rising Nationwide

Homeowners and homebuyers alike are beginning to understand and appreciate the value an energy-efficient home provides in terms of savings on heating and cooling, as a new analysis from Porch looks into exactly where in the country such homes are being built.

Key Findings

  • There are over 2.4 million homes and apartments certified with the Energy Star label in the United States
  • Over 120,000 such homes were built in 2022, 9% of the total number of new housing units built, up from 7% in 2021
  • Arizona leads the way in energy-efficient construction with some 42% of all newly built homes earning the Energy Star certification
  • Among metros, Kalamazoo-Portage, MI has the highest percentage of green homes (39% of all new housing units built)
  • In five states (Maine, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin) the share of housing units certified as energy efficient is under 1%
  • Seattle, WA Chicago, IL, and Cape Coral, FL had the lowest share of energy-efficient new homes (all under 1%)

One way to measure this efficiency is to look at the government’s Energy Star certification for housing. According to EnergyStar.gov, homes that receive this certificate are built with high-quality insulation and HVAC systems, have minimal drafts and pollution, and deliver durability, comfort, and even resale value.

With that in mind, Porch looked at eco-conscious home building in the U.S., see how it changed in recent years, and identify which states and metropolitan areas are leading the way in building green homes.

Gradual Growth: Share of Energy-Efficient Homes Is Rising Slowly

Over 124,000 homes built in 2022 received the Energy Star label as being outstanding in terms of energy efficiency, just 1% more than were built and achieved certification the year before.That said, these efficiency-optimized homes now account for a larger share of all new homes built in the United States. Almost one in ten (9%) new homes built in 2022 got the Energy Star certification, compared to 7% in 2021.

Raising The Bar, Arizona: Grand Canyon State Leads in Green Construction

One state that stands out in terms of how many of its newly built homes are certified as energy-efficient is Arizona. Here, 42% of newly built homes in 2022 got an Energy Star label – a percentage far higher than in any other state.

Maryland is in second place, where roughly a third (34%) of housing units built this year received the efficiency distinction.

Two states, where about one in five new homes is energy-conscious are New Hampshire (20%) and Nevada (19%).

While some states appear to be prioritizing energy efficiency in their residential construction, others appear to be trailing behind. In five states, the share of newly built residential units in 2022 that received an Energy Star label is below 1%.

These states are Maine (0.9%), and the four Midwestern states of Iowa (0.9%), Kansas (0.8%), Nebraska (0.5%), and Wisconsin (0.2%).

Can’t Compete with Kalamazoo: Michigan Metro Tops Green Home Construction Ranking

Looking at metropolitan areas in the United States, a handful of them have the share of newly built homes that were certified as energy-efficient is approaching 40% in 2022.

Kalamazoo-Portage, MI tops the ranking with 39% of new homes built in 2022 getting an Energy Star label. Echoing the state-level findings, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD is in second place in the metro rankings, with 37% of its new housing stock recognized for energy efficiency.

Two of Arizona’s largest metros – Tucson, AZ (35%) and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (34%) – aren’t too far off the top in terms of building energy efficiency in 2022.

By contrast, there are some metropolitan areas where the construction of energy-efficient homes isn’t registering very high in the overall number of housing units built.

The percentage of homes built in 2022 receiving an Energy Star label for efficiency is the lowest in Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL (0.4%). In metro areas of Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (0.8%) and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (0.9%), that share is just under 1%.

Curiously enough, four of the six metros with the lowest percentage of energy-efficient homes in new construction are in Florida. Besides Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL, they are North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL, and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL (all ≈1.6%).

To read the full report, including more data, charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years' writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News, the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aesthete and loves to read. She can be reached at [email protected]

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