Grayhawk Homes has been named a 2013 Energy Star "Partner of the Year" for its demonstrated efforts in promoting and constructing energy-efficient homes, the company announced.
The award is bestowed on a select few companies each year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which honors those organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency.
Since 2010, every home built by Georgia-based Grayhawk Homes
has met the stringent guidelines required for Energy Star certification. The company currently builds more than 250 homes per year in Georgia, Alabama, and Iowa. Last year, the company was awarded the 2012 Energy Star “Leadership in Housing” award.
“We’re honored to be in such distinguished company,” said Grayhawk Homes President Dave Erickson in a release. “Our belief that everyone should benefit from higher standards of energy efficiency has been validated by this award.”
To achieve Energy Star
certification, a home must be independently verified by a third-party home energy rater. An Energy Star-qualified home typically includes such features as higher R-value insulation, high performance windows, more efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as Energy Star-qualified lighting, appliances, and programmable thermostats where applicable.
According to Erickson, what sets Grayhawk Homes apart is its insistence on complying with Energy Star guidelines at all price points, from the company’s Cornerstone Collection, which starts in the high $110,000s, to the company’s Traditional Collection, where homes are valued at more than $350,000.
“Generally, home builders focus Energy Star certification on their higher-end production or custom homes,” Erickson said. “At Grayhawk, we feel that every home buyer should have the opportunity to benefit from a more energy-efficient home for their family.”
That insistence on energy efficiency has led to Grayhawk Homes climbing up the nation’s list of home builders. Grayhawk Homes has been recognized by multiple publications as one of the country’s fastest growing and largest home builders in the country.
Erickson said market research of data from actual homes has shown the real-world results of building to the Energy Star standards. The company sampled actual utility bills from Georgia Power and found a dramatic difference between new-construction Energy Star homes and existing homes. When normalized for an average two-story home of 2,532 square feet, Grayhawk Homes found home utility bills were cut in half, from an average of more than $406 to less than $199 each month.
The savings displayed in that data convinced Erickson and his employees that Energy Star certification was the right thing to do for all of its home buyers. The company worked with several of its partners--Norboard, DOW building products, PlyGem windows, Georgia Power, and others--to develop a an energy-efficiency program the builder could offer to all of its customers.
“We had to pave the way for energy efficiency in our markets,” Erickson said. “No other home builders were offering to provide such sweeping energy efficiency for their customers.”
Based on the success of Grayhawk Homes initiative, every builder in the region has followed suit with some form of energy-efficiency measures of their own, proof to Erickson that his company’s decision to align its building practices with Energy Star guidelines was the innovation the home building industry needed.
“In the end, it’s about giving our customers the best possible home they can buy for their money,” he said. “Making that home as energy efficient as possible should be just as important. To us, the legacy of Grayhawk Homes will be the continuing innovation of the homes we build for our customers.”