In early 2010, LifeStyle Homes was the first builder in Brevard County and the 41st builder in the nation to complete the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Builders’ Challenge” program. The completion of this program, in conjunction with guidance offered by the world-class scientists at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), led to the development of the LifeStyle SunSmart℠ energy initiative. All new homes built by LifeStyle Homes were guaranteed to meet at least a HERS 60 certification rating and produce 40% energy cost savings when compared to conventional homes.
In this month’s feature, we asked Larry’s daughter and LifeStyle Homes Co-owner and Marketing Director Karen Kicinski to share some insight on building HERS homes for their customers.
Q: What is special about a HERS Rated home?
A: Karen: A HERS-rated home is special because it guarantees the home was built with long-term savings and performance at the forefront. It offers peace-of-mind to its owner knowing that a third-party expert has evaluated the home’s efficiency and can provide a solid measure of how the home will perform from an energy-savings standpoint.
Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS Index Score on homes they are shopping for?
A: Karen: Requesting a HERS index score adds another layer of protection for the consumer. It offers consumers a guarantee that the homebuilder or seller can deliver on the energy savings they’re promising.
Q: Why does LifeStyle Homes choose to have their homes HERS Rated?
A: Karen: LifeStyle Homes promises to build highly energy-efficient homes through our SunSmart program. Backing this promise with a guaranteed HERS rating of 60 or less means that a third party will essentially “check our work.” This gives our homebuyers greater confidence that the homes we build for their families will save them money in the form of lowered energy bills.
Q: Why consumers should expect energy-efficient homes?
A: Karen: Today’s consumers are smart and savvy and understand that a home should be built as tight and energy-efficient as possible. There’s no reason a new home’s energy bills should be the same as a comparable older home’s energy bills.
Q: How many homes does LifeStyle Homes build with HERS per year?
A: Karen: All of our homes are HERS rated, and we average 100-120 homes per year.
Q: How do you market HERS Rated homes?
A: Karen: Every LifeStyle home is built “SunSmart,” which represents our proprietary energy-efficient home building program. LifeStyle SunSmart is comprised of many different energy-saving building products and practices all working together to make our homes as efficient and high-performing as possible. As a part of this program, we guarantee a HERS index score of 60 or less, and we market LifeStyle SunSmart and corresponding HERS scores through a multitude of platforms.
Q: How do your customers feel about HERS Rated homes?
A: Karen: Overall, by guaranteeing a HERS score of 60 or less, our homeowners feel a sense of security in their LifeStyle home. They understand we work with third-party RESNET raters to ensure we fulfill our commitment to building highly energy-efficient homes.