State of Michigan Awards Grants to Five Builders To Build Energy-Efficient Houses

Wed April 16, 2003 - National Edition

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services (CIS) Director David C. Hollister announced on April 7 that five Michigan builders have been awarded grants from the state’s Five Star Home Grant program to build energy-efficient houses.

"The Five Star Home Grant program is an incentive for Michigan builders to utilize the latest technology to reduce energy costs and pollution," Granholm said. "As a condition of receiving the grants, the builders will be promoting these homes and showcasing the advantages of an energy-efficient home. This will make other builders and future home-buyers more knowledgeable about energy-efficient products currently available to reduce utility bills."

CIS Director David C. Hollister presented the grants of up to $8,000 to the builders today at Urban Options Energy & Environmental Demonstration House in East Lansing. The recipients are

o Harmony Home Construction, LLC - Beulah (Efficiency Rating: 87.1) Project Location: Frankfort

o H-S Builders, LLC - Grass Lake (Efficiency Rating: 88.4) Project Location: Grass Lake

o S.M. Smith, Carpenter - Ann Arbor (Efficiency Rating: 86.9) Project Location: Deerton

o Suburban Builders Corp. - Lansing (Efficiency Rating: 88.6) Project Location: Williamston

o SWAN Non-Profit Housing Corp. - Detroit (Efficiency Rating: 87.8) Project Location: Allen Park

Builders compete for the U.S. Department of Energy funded grants based on energy-efficiency, marketing plans and innovations. Rated by the CIS Energy Office on a scale of 1-5 stars, each house required a Five-Star rating based on a National Home Energy Rating System to be eligible for the grants. Home energy ratings help buyers identify energy efficient homes as well as understand energy costs and how to lower them.

Some of the innovative energy-saving features of the five houses include: thermal passive solar designs, hydronic in-floor heating, instant hot water heating system, maintenance-free exterior featuring mortarless brick, doors made of recycled or domestically-grown (non-tropical) woods, and energy efficient appliances.

The homes will be marketed through residential builder seminars, special displays at the sites, signs identifying the Five Star homes, advertising, videos, magazines and open houses. Some of the homes will be used as teaching tools for students.

"Builders and consumers are becoming increasingly interested in energy- efficient products with each year we present these grants," Hollister said. "Energy-efficient products often pay for themselves and then some with the money they save in future utility bills."

For more information, visit the Energy Office website at: .