East / Regional Reports

Builder Partners With Utility To Build Homes to Energy Star Standards

December 21, 2001
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UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ — K. Hovnanian Companies, New Jersey’s largest builder, announced that its future homes would meet voluntary federal standards that cut natural gas and electricity use by at least one third.

The Edison-based company will work with Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) to ensure that construction techniques, building materials, and appliances meet NJ Energy Star® Homes Program criteria. K. Hovnanian becomes the first major builder in New Jersey to make such a sweeping commitment.

The NJ Energy Star Homes Program is a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and builders to encourage the use of energy-efficient products and systems. The program promotes the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, and appliances, in conjunction with advanced building techniques and materials. PSE&G certifies that completed homes meet NJ Energy Star Homes standards. According to the EPA, consumers who purchase a NJ Energy Star home save at least 30% on their utility bills compared to the cost of heating and cooling a typical home in New Jersey. In addition, the EPA cites improved comfort, indoor air quality, and strong resale value as added benefits.

“For 40 years, K. Hovnanian has continually sought ways to build more value into the homes we build,” said Joe Riggs, regional president of K. Hovnanian. “The cost of energy is a major concern for homeowners, and the NJ Energy Star Homes Program is a good way to demonstrate that our homes are as energy efficient as possible.”

PSE&G, an electric and gas utility, has offered the program in its service territory since 1998. The program provides builders with planning assistance and knowledge to construct homes to the highest standards of energy efficiency. In 2001, the program was expanded statewide to be offered by all of New Jersey’s electric and gas utilities. K. Hovnanian will work with each in their service areas.

The companies made the joint announcement at K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons® at Upper Freehold, an active-adult community that is being constructed to NJ Energy Star Homes Program standards.

“Working with PSE&G and our trade partners, we modified our construction techniques, increasing energy savings potential while maintaining the quality, flexibility and efficiency that always have been part of our home-building process,” said Riggs. “Because of our economies of scale, we’re able to extend the NJ Energy Star Homes program to communities that now are being planned without adding to the price of our homes.”

Riggs said the announcement applies to K. Hovnanian homes now being designed for communities in New Jersey. He added that all current K. Hovnanian homes include many of the advanced building materials and techniques used to reach NJ Energy Star Homes standards.

“We know a great deal about building energy efficiency into our homes,” said Riggs. “Even homes that don’t have NJ Energy Star Homes certification are built with materials that are energy efficient.”

Another benefit of buying a K. Hovnanian NJ Energy Star home is a special mortgage program being offered by K. Hovnanian Mortgage Co. The mortgage program includes no document preparation fees, stretched qualifying ratios of up to 5%, and special rate locks for some programs.

“These are the homes of the future,” said Riggs. “By adding energy-efficient features people say they want in their homes, and building those homes in beautiful, well-designed communities, we can deliver just the sort of homes people want.”

For more information, visit www.khov.com or www.pseg.com (websites).

Publication date: 12/24/2001

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