The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today it has named Southern Energy Management (SEM) a 2009 National Energy Star Partner of the Year for its outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through its work as a Home Energy Rater for the Energy Star program. SEM also received the prestigious EPA Partner of the Year award in 2008 and 2007, and joins a short list of companies in the U.S. that have received this award three years in a row. SEM’s accomplishments will be recognized at a reception in Washington, D.C., on March 31.
The 2009 Partner of the Year Awards are given to a variety of organizations to recognize their contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy-efficient homes in their community. Award winners are selected from more than 12,000 organizations that participate in the Energy Star program.
Energy Star is a joint program of the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy aimed at helping Americans save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. The Energy Star label on a new home means it has been inspected and verified to be at least 15 percent more efficient than the typical new home, using substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating while saving homeowners about $200-$400 annually on their utility bills.
"More homebuyers are choosing Energy Star homes across America thanks to partners like Southern Energy Management,” said Kathleen Hogan, Director of the Climate Protection Partnerships Division at the U.S. EPA. “Due to the knowledge and expertise of leading Home Energy Raters, we are boosting the nation’s energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while offering families high quality, comfortable homes.”
As the predominant Energy Star provider in the greater Triangle and Charlotte metro areas, SEM inspected/verified more than 1,700 new homes and served more than 250 builders across NC in 2008.
“Having a third-party verifier like Southern Energy Management protects the integrity of the Energy Star program and assures the home buyer they are getting the real value behind the Energy Star label,” said Craig Morrison, founder of Cimarron Homes. “As a builder of Energy Star and green certified homes, it is important that we have verifiers with experience who conduct themselves with a high level of professionalism and integrity - and SEM passes these tests.”
By partnering directly with builders and developers in the new home market, SEM has played a critical leadership role in transforming the market for energy efficient new homes in North Carolina. SEM also strives to help builders eventually go beyond energy efficiency and incorporate green building programs as well.
“The Energy Star program is the foundation of our energy efficiency, green and solar services for builders,” said Dan McFarland, director of builder services with SEM. “Our ‘walk, jog, run’ philosophy is focused on getting builders on the path to building better homes, resulting in long-term savings for the homeowners and conservation of our collective resources. For many of the nearly 300 home builders we currently partner with, getting on that path often starts with Energy Star – and we’re honored to be recognized again by the EPA for our continued efforts to transform the new home market in the Southeast.”
Currently over 6,500 builders across the nation are constructing homes that meet EPA’s guidelines for energy efficiency, and more than 940,000 families now live in ENERGY STAR qualified homes. Last year alone, Americans with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $19 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 29 million vehicles.
About Southern Energy Management (SEM)
Southern Energy Management (southern-energy.com) is a leading sustainable energy company serving the Southeast. In 2008, Southern Energy Management inspected and verified more than 1,700 new homes for the EPA’s Energy Star program and designed and installed more than 2,750,000 kilowatt hours of solar power on NC homes and businesses.