|Feb 01, 2012 --
Self-Help Homes Built to New Utah Energy Efficiency Standard
Outline Of Need:
Energy inefficiency is a problem in Utah homes. Old appliances, poor insulation, thin windows and leaky gas and water lines all contribute to higher utility bills and uncomfortable living spaces. Rural homes are especially vulnerable to such hazards due to extreme weather and the limited availability of assistance.
How Rural Development Helped:
USDA Rural Development, in partnership with the Rural Community Assistance Council and the Division of Housing and Community Development, is promoting the implementation of a new energy efficiency standard for Utah homes. This standard has recently been applied to the Mutual Self Help program to provide low-income families with funding assistance to build energy efficient homes.
Ivins, Utah, is adjacent to the popular city and warm getaway of St. George, Utah. Within this community six families who qualified as low-income were able to build their own homes and become first-time homeowners.
Their new homes are designed according to each family’s individual taste and within the USDA’s program standards. Each home is both Energy Star qualified and up to Utah energy efficiency standards. Utah’s standard is cost-effective, especially for rural communities with fewer fees and expenses.
Energy Star qualified homes have energy-efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems, lowering the monthly bills for each family. Energy Star lighting can use 75% less energy than standard lighting and also reduces energy costs.
An Energy Star qualified home uses 15% less energy than standard homes.