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Get to Know LEED: Reduce Appliance Energy Consumption

By Louis Caiola (editor: Kim Erle)

The LEED for Homes Green Building Program awards projects up to three points for energy and water efficient appliances.  Sunset Green Home plans to capture all three possible points.  Here's how…

High Efficiency Appliances (maximum 2 points):

A project can earn up to two points by choosing from a list of four high efficiency appliances types (in fact, Sunset Green Home will meet the requirements of all types, but the LEED for Homes only awards a maximum of two points in the credit category).

  1. ENERGY STAR labeled Refrigerator (1 point):  A new ENERGY STAR labeled refrigerator can save up to 50% more energy than models manufactured prior to 1993. Sunset Green Home will meet the requirement by installing a Thermador 30” fresh food column – selected not only for its energy efficiency, but because using separate fridge and freezer columns gives homeowners the ability to choose exactly the right size for their needs. 

    Does your refrigerator model meet the ENERGY STAR standards? Click here to find out more about ENERGY STAR labeled refrigerators.
  2. ENERGY STAR labeled Ceiling Fans (0.5 point):  Projects that install at least one fan in each bedroom and living room earn half a point toward LEED for Homes certification.  Sunset Green Home will be using Big Ass Haiku fans throughout the home, in each bedroom, and in the living spaces. Equally important is Sunset Green Home’s use of two Big Ass Haiku fans in the pool house, which isn’t air-conditioned. In that space, the fans provide the only source of thermal comfort.  Big Ass Haiku is the most energy efficient of all ceiling fans and is available with SenseME technology, which learns a user’s habits and adjusts itself accordingly.
  3. ENERGY STAR labeled Dishwasher (0.5 point):  ENERGY STAR labeled dishwashers are a minimum of 41% more efficient in terms of water use than federal government standard machines and 15% better in overall energy consumption. Sunset Green Home is using ENERGY STAR labeled dishwasher models from Thermador and Bosch.  
  4. ENERGY STAR labeled Clothes Washer (0.5 points):  LEED for Homes awards half a point to projects that install an ENERGY STAR labeled clothes washer. An ENERGY STAR labeled clothes washer uses 18-25 gallons of water per load as opposed to 40 gallons for a standard issue model.  Sunset Green Home is using Samsung’s high efficiency laundry machines, including the model WF9100 5.6 cubic foot front load washer, which earned an ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2014 designation.  Washing machine energy use is measured using a “Modified Energy Factor” (MEF) – and the higher the better!  Sunset Green Home’s Samsung laundry machine boasts an EMF of 3.1.  By comparison, laundry machines can be ENERGY STAR certified with MEF greater than or equal to 1.72.

Water-Efficient Clothes Washer (1 point):

A LEED for Homes project may earn a third point by installing a water-efficient clothes washer.  Projects that earn credit in the high-efficiency appliances category can earn credit for the same laundry machine in the Water-Efficient Clothes Washer category as well.  Sunset Green Home’s Samsung washing machine has an Integrated Water Factor (WF) of 2.7, a measure of the number of gallons of water per cubic foot of capacity.  To earn the point, a project must install a clothes washer with the WF below 5.5.

Click here for more info on ENERGY STAR certification for clothes washers.

Sunset Green Home is earning the maximum available points toward LEED certification for our choice of energy efficient appliances.  When you're in the market for a new major appliance, consider following the LEED for Homes program guidance by upgrading to ENERGY STAR labeled appliances to minimize your appliance energy consumption.

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