Stephens and Company Inc.
Stephens and Company, Inc. is committed to a culture of sustainable construction principles, integrating energy efficiency and industry-tested best practices across all disciplines of residential construction.
In this month’s feature, we asked Stephens and Company Inc.’s Andy Buccino to share some insight on building HERS® homes for their customers.
Q: What is special about a HERS® Rated home?
A: Andy: A HERS®-rated home is guaranteed to be energy efficient. While any builder can claim that their homes are energy efficient, there is no way to know unless the home has been evaluated using a quantifiable standard—which is exactly what a HERS® rating is. With HERS®-rated homes, our customers can be sure that they are being treated fairly and honestly and that the home they are getting is what it is advertised to be. At Stephens & Company, trust is important to us, and we want our customers to know they can rely on us. Coupled with Energy Star and Indoor Air Quality standards, a low HERS® score allows our customers to be confident that they will always get comfortable, efficient, and environmentally friendly homes that are built to last. That’s a big part of why we have such a strong reputation for craftsmanship and quality.
Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS® Index Score on homes they are shopping for?
A: Andy: Asking for a HERS® index score can help consumers ensure that they buy a home that meets their standards. This doesn’t just apply to environmental standards, either. A HERS® rating will also help prospective homeowners understand how much they will be spending each month to maintain their new homes. Energy costs are a significant expenditure for every home, and if consumers ask for a HERS® index score, they can select a home where those expenses will be much lower than average. This makes asking for a HERS® index score one of the best ways for consumers to protect their financial security and budget appropriately for the monthly operational costs of home ownership. If they ever choose to sell their homes, a low HERS® score will also command a higher asking price on the market.
Q: Why does Stephens and Company, Inc. choose to have their homes HERS® Rated?
A: Andy: There are several key reasons Stephens & Company chooses to have our homes HERS-rated. With a HERS® rating, we can value engineer our homes for the most cost-effective building materials, which decreases our costs and by extension the costs to our customers. We can also ensure that we are able to decrease carbon costs while simultaneously increasing our customers’ savings. As “fiscal environmentalists,” we take our impact on the sensitive environment of our beautiful island very seriously, while never losing sight of ways to save our customers money. Additionally, HERS® ratings are required by Massachusetts’ building energy Stretch Codes, which emphasize energy efficiency and push builders across the state to consider the carbon cost of every project carefully.
Q: Why consumers should expect energy-efficient homes?
A: Andy: An energy-efficient home is a cost-effective home. Consumers want homes that will deliver high-quality performance for an extended period of time with a low operational cost of ownership, and one of the best ways to make sure that a home delivers on all of those metrics is to make it as energy-efficient as possible. Many consumers also care about the environment and want to reduce their carbon footprint. Energy-efficient homes make that much easier and provide a clear path to net-zero emissions for environmentally conscious consumers. When our customers see that all of Stephens & Company’s homes are energy-efficient, they know that we care just as much as they do..
Q: How many homes does Stephens and Company Inc. build with HERS® per year?
A: Andy: We build 5-7 HERS®-rated homes every year. In Quarter 2 of 2022, we built the most improved renovation in Massachusetts under the Mass Save Renovations and Additions Program. This program uses the HERS® Index and HERS® software to quantify performance improvements.
Q: How do you market HERS® Rated homes?
A: Andy: Stephens & Company partners with RESNET and uses their marketing deliverables, like the One Tree Pledge advertisement. We also dedicate a page on our website to energy efficiency, which highlights our use of the HERS® index and explains why HERS®-rated homes are the best option for consumers. We will also have a press release acknowledging Stephens and Company as a RESNET Builder of the Month and celebrating this accomplishment.
Q: How do your customers feel about HERS® Rated homes?
A: Andy: A HERS® rating provides confidence and security. Our customers know they are getting the best possible product and the lowest possible operational costs, all while doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s hard to beat a HERS®-rated home if you want to combine saving the planet and saving money into a single investment, which our customers definitely do. Our customers love HERS® ratings and the peace of mind that comes with them.