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FIRST CITY TO ADOPT
EPA’S ENERGY STAR PROGRAM

The Frisco City Council has adopted an ordinance designed to increase the energy efficiency of new homes while cutting homeowners’ utility bills. Under the new Green Building ordinance, the Frisco City Council has adopted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star Homes Program requirements as the minimum standard for new home construction.

This means new homebuyers could save as much as 30-percent on their utility bills. Energy Star is a nationwide, voluntary program; however, according to EPA, Frisco is the first city in the country to mandate Energy Star standards as part of its innovative Green Building program.

The council members voted unanimously to give the green light to the Green Building program.

Under the new ordinance, new homes final platted after May 23 will be required to have a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 86. The HERS score is based on plan analysis, insulation and duct inspection and blower door/duct pressurization testing. A certified, third party conducts tests to determine the HERS score. HERS tests cost approximately $750 per home. City planners estimate it will cost builders approximately $1500 - $3000 to upgrade homes to Energy Star; however, Energy Efficient Mortgages and lower utility bills can offset those costs. Utility costs will be lower, so that’s money in your pocket, said Jeff Witt, Senior Planner, City of Frisco.

Besides energy efficiency, Frisco’s Green Building program focuses on water conservation, indoor air quality and waste recycling. Specifically, the Green Building program recommends lumber and bricks be recycled. Builders are also encouraged to donate unwanted building materials to non-profit building agencies. Under the Green Building ordinance, homeowners learn how to reduce water consumption and prevent mold. Frisco city planners also plan to develop a program to assist homeowners with efforts to make energy efficiency upgrades to existing homes.

"If we don’t take care of our natural resources", said Witt. "We won’t have anything to care for in the future. We need to make the best possible use of what we have now."

Written by: Frisco City Council


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