Parade of Homes showcase zero-energy options

09 Apr Parade of Homes showcase zero-energy options

Barry Rutenberg and Associates, Inc.
Press Release: 2011-04-09

Raja Jaghab or Eric Swanson
13922 58th Street
Clearwater, FL 33760
727-536-5900 ext 317

Members of the Builders Assosiation of North Central Florida will host the 53rd annual Parade of Homes, which will boast new homes for prospective buyers beginning April 9.

The 20 homes in eight neighborhoods will showcase new energy-efficient techniques, green building products, landscape design and home design and decor, according to Lisa Kinsell, chair of the 2011 Parade of Homes.

Kinsell, whose Arthur Rutenberg Homes has one house in the parade, said builders on this parade are focused on energy efficient options, such as different types of insulation and windows.

“It’s a great time to buy now,” Kinsell said.

The market is good for new homes now because interest rates are still at an all-time low, which is combined with competitive pricing and appealing deals and rebates.

Prices range from $175,000 to $900,000, Kinsell said.

Tickets, which include a book with floor plans, renderings and maps to all locations, are $5 for adults. Children 16 and younger can tour for free.

Kinsell said more than 5,000 tickets have been sold already.

“We put a lot of time and money into making these homes,” Kinssell said,”because it’s something public wants to see.

“It’s the best of the best; the newest features; the newest appliances.”

The tour even includes a zero-energy home.

Todd Louis, vice president of Tommy Williams Homes, said this is the third zero-energy home the company has produced. While any home can be made zero-energy, Louis said, it can be difficult to create a home that produces as much electricity as it uses while being cost-efficient.

The cost of solar energy is a lot to install, so builders at Tommy Williams Homes took a different approach. Instead of relying solely on solar power, this house was originally built to be extremely efficient. This way, much less is spent on solar energy, Louis said.

“It’s a mass-apeal home because it’s not just for super wealthy people,” he said.

The house, located in the Belmont subdivision in Jonesville, is 1,760 square feet and costs $270,000, which includes a $5,000 solar energy discount and almost $15,000 in rebates and tax credits.

The house has energy-efficient features such as “sunset windows”, insulation and roofing that blocks heat and humidity from entering the home, Louis said. Even the air conditioner runs more efficiently because the ducts are in the space of the home instead of the attic. There is also a solar hot water heater.

A new feature the home boasts is an energy monitor that allows people to see real-time energy used throughout the space.

Louis said it costs $86 a month to have solar energy, which is less than a regular electric bill.

“You basically pay $86 for no electric bill,” Louis said. “That’s pretty good.”

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