Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Energy Star Homes for Low Income Home Buyers(ST7046-1)

Community Energy Services, Inc.


Low-income families that participate in Habitat for Humanity programs purchase site-built homes constructed to the current energy code. While these homes are modest in size, their heating expenses still represent a significant portion of these families' incomes. Heating expenses are even greater when such homes are located in New York's North Country. Homes built to the Energy Star® standard have heating expenses that are significantly lower than typically built homes. Unfortunately, Energy Star® Homes for low-income home buyers are not being built in the North Country. If local builders were more aware of the strategies for constructing Energy Star® homes, it is expected that such homes would be built more frequently.

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Project Description

The Contractor will: develop the design of the home using whole-building computer-modeling tools, evaluate using super-insulated walls, passive-solar heating, passive-solar cooling, energy-efficient heating systems, Energy Star® appliances, and mechanical ventilation, plan and organize the construction of the home, assess the energy performance of the home after completion of construction and, disseminate the results of the project and design of the home.


Based on computer simulations, it is estimated that this house’s energy bills were $700 less than a similar size house of typical construction in the same climate. The results of the project were published in an article of Home Energy magazine.

Project Results

Community Energy Services (CES) succeeded in constructing the first New York Energy Star® rated home in northern Saint Lawrence County. The home was constructed as a Habitat for Humanity project. The 1,152 square foot home cost approximately $35,000 in materials to construct. Some of the energy-efficiency features included in the home were: double-glazed low-e argon-filled windows, a high-efficiency propane-fired boiler coupled with an indirect domestic hot water tank, radiant floor heating, an Energy Star® refrigerator, a heat recovery ventilator, and highly-insulated walls and ceiling with cellulose. The energy bills were monitored for one year after the homeowner moved in. The energy bills for the first year totaled approximately $1,235. Mold growth was observed on the metal surfaces of windows during the first winter. It appears this growth occurred because the homeowner was operating the heat recovery ventilator at too low a setting.


Community Energy Services, Inc.
101 Main St Ste 2
Canton, NY 13617

Principle Investigator

Scott Shipley

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Building Construction Methods

NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST7046-1

Last Updated: 11/13/2013