Final Specs for WaterSense-New Homes Released
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its final WaterSense single-family new homes specification on Dec. 10, creating the first national, voluntary, water-efficiency specification for an entire new home.
“Home builders can now partner with EPA and earn the WaterSense label for their newly built homes, helping to create livable communities and quality homes that are easy to maintain,” said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “These homes will save homeowners as much as $200 a year on utility bills compared to their current homes.”
EPA worked with hundreds of stakeholders over the past three years to develop this specification, which was designed to complement existing green building programs. WaterSense labeled new homes, which will be 20 percent more efficient than typical new homes, must be independently inspected and certified by an EPA-licensed certification provider to meet the WaterSense criteria for water efficiency and performance.
The new homes will feature WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures, Energy Star qualified appliances (if installed), water-efficient landscaping, and hot water delivery systems that deliver hot water faster, so homeowners don’t waste water—or energy—waiting at the tap.
By investing in WaterSense labeled homes, American home buyers can reduce their water usage by more than 10,000 gallons per year—enough to fill a backyard swimming pool—and save enough energy annually to power a television for four years.
If the approximately 1.27 million new homes built in the United States each year were WaterSense labeled, it would save more than 12 billion gallons of water.
With this announcement, EPA is inviting home builders to join the WaterSense program and commit to building water-efficient new homes. WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by EPA that seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people simple ways to use less water.