March 19, 2013
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today reported that the number of New York ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes increased by 10 percent in 2012 over 2011, despite housing starts nationwide remaining at historically low levels.
A total of 2,262 New York ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes were constructed in 2012, compared with 2,049 in 2011. According to the U.S. Census, construction starts in 2012 were at one of their lowest levels since 1959, when the Census began reporting housing starts.
NYSERDA officials attribute the increase in New York ENERGY STAR Certified Homes to changing market trends and continued program expansion from primarily single-family homes to allow other low-rise residential properties, including affordable housing, duplexes, townhomes and low-rise multifamily buildings.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has forecast that multifamily starts will increase 22 percent in 2013 over the prior year due, in part, to the declining homeownership rate for younger households as well as the increase in U.S. households aged 55 and over.
Low-rise multi-unit projects in the program nearly doubled, to 52 percent of all projects in 2012 from 27 percent of all projects in 2011. Affordable housing accounted for approximately 27 percent of the projects in 2012.
“The expansion of NYSERDA’s offerings in low-rise residential new construction is another way the State is increasing energy efficiency in new housing stock and supporting Governor Cuomo’s call for initiatives to decrease energy consumption,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “As more baby boomers look to downsize, and cost-conscious young people look for ways to reduce living expenses, low-rise multifamily homes are meeting an important housing need.”
New York ENERGY STAR Certified Homes are offered under NYSERDA’s Low-Rise Residential New Construction Programs, which supports new construction and substantial renovation of comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and operate. These Low-Rise Residential New Construction Programs offer technical assistance and financial incentives for builders and developers. A total of 136 builders across the state participate in the program. Incentives defray some of the costs for measures that make these homes more energy efficient than required by the New York State energy code.
NYSERDA’s Low-Rise Residential New Construction Programs have paid $26.3 million in incentives for the production of energy-efficient new homes since 2001. Increases in construction of New York ENERGY STAR Certified Homes by region between 2011 and 2012 are below.
- Downstate North (Bronx and Westchester counties): Up 87 percent, from 192 projects in 2011 to 359 in 2012.
- Downstate East (Kings and Queens counties): Up 40 percent, from 55 projects in 2011 to 77 in 2012.
- Mid-Hudson (Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties): Up 39 percent, from 219 projects in 2011to 304 in 2012.
- Finger Lakes (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Yates, Wayne and Wyoming counties): Up 21 percent, from 382 projects in 2011 to 461 in 2012.
- Western NY (Alleghany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties): Up 7 percent from 480 units in 2011 to 514 in 2012.
Projects completed in other regions of the state totaled 547 units in 2012.
Each New York ENERGY STAR Certified Home must pass a stringent evaluation, including a computer-based energy analysis of the home’s design, followed by field inspections and third-party performance testing to certify compliance with the required standards. Designation as a New York ENERGY STAR Certified Home is reserved for those that have been verified as meeting these standards.
For more information on NYSERDA’s Low-Rise New Construction Program, please call 1-866-NYSERDA or visit http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Residential/Programs/New-Construction/Certified-Homes.aspx.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.