In the next two weeks, Meritage Homes will open “green communities” in San Antonio and Fort Worth – its first such offering in Texas.
Meritage says the homes in these developments are two to three times more efficient than standard Energy Star homes, and save homeowners up to 60 percent on their energy bills.
“We are the only top-10 homebuilder in Texas offering an energy efficient home of this caliber at no additional cost to homeowners,” said president and CEO Steve Hilton. “We’ve changed how we build homes and we expect it is going to change the industry.”
Homes in the two developments, Rolling Creek in San Antonio and The Lakes of River Trails in Fort Worth, feature spray-foam insulation and water-efficient plumbing fixtures.
The homes’ double low-E vinyl windows can cut energy loss in half, and energy-efficient CFL lighting can reduce energy use by 75 percent, Meritage said.
The included 14-SEER air conditioning units can lower cooling costs by up to 40 percent, and a weather sensing irrigation system at the Fort Worth development helps landscaping meet the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program, Meritage said.
The developments also include demonstration houses to show off the homes’ energy-saving features. These “learning houses” will feature peeled-back walls and ceilings, unveiling their environmental technologies.
Meritage was awarded the 2011 Energy Value Housing Award from the National Association of Homebuilders for an energy efficiency community in Gilbert, Ariz. (pictured).
It is the ninth largest homebuilder in the U.S. based on homes closed, and is currently selling homes at 151 developments in 12 metropolitan areas.
Last year Meritage included Echo combined photovoltaic-solar thermal systems as standard in 17 of its most energy efficient communities, and the house builder has agreed to use Echo systems exclusively in all its solar-powered communities.
In green building rankings by Calvert Investments, however, Meritage last year dropped from second to eighth place (scroll down article).