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Moving up to energy savings

Happy Valley resident happy with her new home’s efficiency.

Thinking about a new home? Follow Kimberly Hill’s lead and include energy efficiency on your list of “must haves.”

Kimberly, who owned a home for 10 years and more recently rented an apartment, considered energy-efficient features “super important” when she started house hunting last year.

She found what she was looking for in a 1,344-square-foot, three-bedroom townhouse from D.R. Horton in the Morningside community. “I took a tour and was really impressed with all the energy-saving features.”

D.R. Horton is a national builder leading the way in incorporating technology such as heat pumps and/or heat pump water heaters to meet some of the highest energy-efficiency standards. The homes in this development are about 35 percent more efficient than the standard Oregon home built to code, according to Performance Insulation & Energy Services, a verifier working with Energy Trust of Oregon.

Ductless heat pump key energy saver

In addition to high-efficiency windows, tighter construction and LED lighting, Kimberly’s home features ductless cooling and heating, which she loves because it works so well to keep her home comfortable year-round.

With one ductless unit upstairs and one down, Kimberly, who works from home, can adjust the temperature for the areas she’s in. She has been “shocked” at how well the ductless system heats and cools her home at such a low cost. Her electric bill this April was just $36, and that includes electric cooking and laundry. In comparison, her electric bill last April was more than $52 — in a much smaller apartment.

“The money savings is a bonus. I didn’t really believe how efficient this ductless system would be until I started using it,” she says. “I’m pretty excited.”

Check the EPS

EPS™, brought to you by Energy Trust of Oregon, is a home’s energy performance score that rates the efficiency of newly built homes. Scores range from zero to over 200 — the lower the number, the more efficient the home. Homes in the D.R. Horton community where Kimberly lives have low EPS numbers, ranging from 33 to 45. When shopping new construction, ask about EPS.

Learn more about EPS.