KB Home is one of the nation’s largest and most recognized homebuilders. Its Built to Order approach puts a custom home experience within reach of its customers at an affordable price. KB Home builds new homes across the nation’s top markets stretching from coast to coast.
In this month’s feature we ask Jacob Atalla, VP of Sustainability Initiatives with KB Home, to share his thoughts on HERS Rated homes.
Q: What is special about a HERS Rated home?
A: KB Home takes pride in the home we build and relationships we form with our customers. A home is one of the largest and most important purchases a family can make and understanding the costs associated with homeownership is important. Before a consumer buys a new car they already know its estimated mileage per gallon (MPG). Similar to the MPG on a new car, a HERS Rated home allows shoppers to better understand its expected (projected) energy performance.
Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS Index score on homes they are shopping for?
A: We feel the HERS Index is changing the way people shop for homes. We also believe that there should be no surprises when purchasing a new home. KB Home’s business was founded on a commitment to superior customer satisfaction providing complete transparency throughout the building experience. The HERS Index is designed to educate homeowners and prospective buyers about the relative energy efficiency of a home. This information allows our customers to better understand the overall cost of homeownership.
Q: Why does KB Home have their homes HERS rated?
A: In 2011, KB Home announced that we would be providing an Energy Performance Guide (EPG) for every new plan we build. Our EPG is based on the HERS Index score. It is a useful tool that informs prospective buyers about the efficiency level of a plan’s projected HERS Index score, and provides an estimated dollar amount for monthly energy costs. New energy-efficient KB homes score much lower on the HERS Index scale, than older resale homes. The KB Home national average HERS Index score is now 55, which makes them 45% more energy-efficient than a typical resale home built just over a decade ago.
Q: Why consumers should expect energy efficient homes?
A: Consumers have a huge desire to save on the monthly costs associated with homeownership. They should expect their new home to be very efficient. Homes that are built to current ENERGY STAR® guidelines and include WaterSense® labeled faucets and fixtures are designed to be more energy- and water-efficient than most typical new and resale homes on the market. These energy- and water-saving features can save homebuyers thousands of dollars a year in utility costs, depending on the floor plan. Additionally, buyers who chose a new home with solar included can further reduce their utility bills.
Q: How many homes does KB Home build with HERS per year?
A: Every new KB home receives a HERS Index score and in 2018 KB Home built over 11,300 homes.To date, KB Home has built more than 128,000 ENERGY STAR® qualified homes. Cumulative, the families living in those homes saved more than $730 million on their utility bills, and reduced carbon emissions by an estimated 4.5 billion pounds cumulative from these homes.
Q: How does KB Home market HERS rated homes?
A: Sustainability is ingrained into the fabric of KB Home. As a leader in building sustainable homes we understand that in a fast-paced world of shifting technology we need to be practical curators and educators. We select products and programs that offer long-term value and save our homeowners money. Through our eDifference platform we educate consumers on four major areas of sustainability, Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Healthy Homes and Smart Systems. Every new KB home receives a HERS Index score, which we market as the KB Home Energy Performance Guide (EPG). The HERS Index score is clearly posted in all of our model homes and is available for every floor plan we build. This provides our sales counselors and superintendents a unique tool to accurately provide monthly energy cost to all KB home shoppers. In addition, the EPG and HERS Index score is presented to our buyers as a certified document when they purchase a new KB home. This document provided value when the buyer goes to resell their home.
Q: How do your customers feel about HERS rated homes?
A: Our customers appreciate the transparency and the peace-of-mind the HERS Index score provides. When making sustainable purchases, the perception is you have to pay extra for the technology and efficiency. But when it comes to buying a new home, its actually more affordable. Our buyers understand the savings is a real game changer as these sustainable features offer our homebuyers a significant savings in comparison to resale homes.