Energy Smart Testimonials

We are very fortunate to have customers write to tell us how excited they are about their new homes. We love to hear from them, “how much bigger my home feels” to “how incredibly low my energy bills are.” Many even send us copies of their power bills – as if they think even we, won’t believe just how little they spend on energy. We believe! Thankfully, we hear it all the time…

But when we read how much they appreciate the guidance and help we provided, even across the country…now that’s the best compliment.

We ask every customer – both home owner and builder – to let us know of their progress. We always offer to provide answers to their questions during the building process, because we know our customer’s satisfaction will become our future success.

We want our customers to have the most attractive, well designed and healthy homes as well as the lowest energy bills available! So, much of our business comes from Happy Customer Referrals, the best advertising there is.

Hi-Performance home PlanASHTON PLAN #103 — JAN, 2016

Plan #103 (modified)
As built by Riverbanks Construction

Charles Dees’ very first Energy Smart Home scored an amazingly low 43 HERS! Truth be told, it’s the best verified performance we’ve seen of any builder’s first attempt at building a hi-performance home from one of our plans. It gets even better…
With hundreds of homes built from our designs, we’re aware of only two that scored a lower HERS. (Excluding true Net-Zero Energy Homes with Solar PV and Solar Hot Water.) What makes such incredible performance possible? Mr. Dees simply builds his homes true to ESHP spec.

Of all the hi-performance measures contained in our plans, Charles understands that placing the Ducts in Conditioned Space, is essential to such remarkable success. So, Riverbanks Construction customers can rightfully claim they have the lowest energy costs available.

Some of the modifications Charles made were enlarging the sq ft size to 1,870 sq ft, adding a crawlspace foundation, and adding a storage room alongside the garage.

Plan 103 (modified)
1,870 sq ft living
3 Bed / 2 Bath
HERS Index: 43
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $100

Hi-Performance home plan front elevationSUMMERVILLE #109 — SEP, 2014

Congratulations to Southport, NC, hi-performance builder Bryan McGowin of Hall & Wright Builders. Bryan’s first Energy Smart Home boasts a first month electric bill of $51, subtract the power company’s connection charge of $28, and the actual energy usage was a mere $23!

Plan 109
1,555 sq ft living
3 Bed / 2 Bath
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $23

Hi-Performance home front elevationBELLAIRE PLAN #234 — AUG, 2014

We want to thank both of you for your great insight on the conservation and design of these energy efficient homes.
— Frank Young, of Synergy Homes – Stuart, Florida

The popular Bellaire, plan #234, was built to ESHP Hi-Performance standards, and boasts the lowest energy costs per square foot yet reported. An astounding $66/month average so far for the 2,379 sq. ft. home.

You read that right, the owners enjoy an ANNUAL power bill of around $800.00. (impressive numbers like these equate to a $55 monthly electrical bill for 2,000 sq. ft. home!)

The spec home was sold prior to completion for $158/ft., including the lot. The block home cost $97/ft. to build and included many upgrades requested by the buyer.

We’re very grateful to have conscientious builders like Synergy Homes constructing such high quality homes!

Plan 234
2,379 sq ft living
3 Bed + Den / 3 Bath
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $66


Hi-Performance home front elevationMATERA PLAN #303 — MAR, 2013

Plan #303 (modified)

A happy homeowner recently wrote ESHP owner Dave Jenkins, to let him know the good news about his brand new Energy Smart Home. (modified Matera model Plan #303). First, he said that everyone believes his home is much larger than it’s 1,778 square feet, due to it’s open floor plan and efficient use of space.

“We’ve been keeping the thermostat at 75 (which is actually a bit lower than I would prefer, but at least it gives us a scientifically conservative estimate of the awesomeness of this place), and we haven’t even broken the $60/month mark for electricity bills. I’m thinking our annual total will be right around the $600 range.”

My wife and I would like to extend a huge THANK YOU for helping us take our next step toward sustainability without sacrificing luxury.

Oct. 15, 2013 Update

I’m writing to let you know that, with the help of our utility provider’s rebate program, my wife and I are putting some photovoltaics on our house. We should be at or beyond energy neutral by mid January. Smile, man — you’re making a living and a difference. Thanks a bunch.
— Steve P.
Melbourne Beach, FL

March 28, 2014 Update

… installed a 3.8kW photovoltaic system this past November, we have so far accumulated about 500kWh in our “reserve” meaning if we hit a point in the summer where we’re using more energy than we produce, we dip into that reserve. We got huge rebates on the PV so it should pay for itself in 5-7 years and then we’ll have about 20 years of return on investment in the form of free energy. Building an Energy Smart Home reduced the required amount of photovoltaics by about 50% (relative to a standard home). That translates to about $15,000 saved.” — Steve P.

Homeowner Steve P., was very involved in the construction of the Hi-Performance home, committed to building it to ESHP specs, including getting the ducts in conditioned space.

It was the builder’s first Hi-Performance home and judging by the remarkable HERS Index of 47 (the lowest HERS score the rater’s ever tested without PV) he succeeded marvelously! Dave also credits Steve’s desire and dedication to constructing a super energy-efficient yet beautiful, first home.

Assisting in the incredibly low HERS score is a solar thermal hot water heater, Energy Star appliances and ceiling fans, as well as the CFL lighting throughout. This super Hi-Performance home was finished with granite counter tops, upgraded cabinets and cost just $106 per square foot, total turnkey price.

We are looking forward to receiving actual energy-use data and will be updating this post with those monthly electric bills that we anticipate to average in the $60 range.

Plan 303
1,776 sq ft living
3 Bed / 2 Bath
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $0

Hi-Performance home front elevationSUMMERVILLE PLAN #109 — DEC, 2012

The Summerville, Plan# 109, is one of ESHP’s best selling designs. It has been constructed and sold numerous times by several builders, but the cutting-edge Gainesville builder Tommy Williams Homes has done so with outstanding results in regarding both sales and energy-efficiency. We believe the two are connected.

Built with ESHP Hi-Performance specifications the 1,555 sq. ft., Summerville routinely boasts an amazingly low, $45 average monthly electric bill. That’s without any solar photovoltaics or solar hot water. No wonder why Tommy Williams Homes can offer to pay homebuyers two free years of electric bills!

Your plans have a lot to do with our success in a difficult market.” — Tommy Williams

Plan 109
1,555 sq ft living
3 Bed / 2 Bath

HERS Index: 55
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $45

Hi-Performance home front elevationALAMEDA PLAN #104 — SEP, 2012

Plan #104 (modified)

Wilmington, NC builder Heritage Buildings, Inc., became an ESHP customer in 2011. Originally the owner Vic Sikka, was attracted to the ESHP designs, but he was not sure the market would sustain what he thought may mean an increased cost to build a Hi-Performance home.

At a customer’s request however, he would build a modified Alameda, Plan #104, to Hi-Performance standards, adding a bonus room and bath for a total 2,425 sq. ft., heated space. Before and during construction, Mr. Sikka consulted with our building scientist, Ken Fonorow, the Home Energy Doctor. The result? A home that scored a 56 HERS, placing it’s energy-efficiency in the top 1%, nationally. Terrific, first time results! Mr. Sikka reported that the Hi-Performance aspects to the home’s construction added just 1% to 2% to the construction cost.

More important is the fact that the home owners have enjoyed an incredibly low $75 monthly electric bill, on average since moving in December, 2011. The happy owners even offer to show Heritage Buildings’ prospective customers their electric bills as a testimony to the superb building talents of Mr. Sikka. With five more Hi-Performance Energy Smart Home Plans designs currently under construction, Mr. Sikka says, “I’ll never build the old way.”

This attractive, energy-efficient home is the subject of a just published, US Department of Energy Case Study. Fortunately for ESHP and Heritage Buildings, the study compares “our” home to another new home, right next door.

The neighbor’s home is just 12% larger, but costs the owner over 200% more in electric bills, about $140 more every month. That’s an additional $1,680 per year in energy costs!

The next-door neighbor told our building scientist, Ken Fonorow,
I had the wrong guy build my house.

Consider a historic rise in electricity rates and the additional energy cost savings add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Additionally, how much would a homeowner save if that “extra” money went towards paying down the principal of the home?

Plan 104 (modified)
2,425 sq ft living
3 Bed + Den
2-1/2 Bath
Bonus & Bath added
HERS Index: 56
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $75

Hi-Performance home front elevationSEBASTIAN PLAN #217 — JUL, 2012

Plan #217 (modified)

This Trinidad, Colorado home was modified from the Sebastion plan with a walkout basement to take in the magnificent view. For more pictures of this home, please see ESHP Facebook.

The homeowner wanted a spacious home but was also concerned about energy efficiency, and was very diligent in her search for just the right plan. After consulting with Dave Jenkins she was confident she could build her “dream” home and keep within her construction budget, while also maintaining a low monthly energy bill.

Since completion, this happy homeowner frequently updates us on how much she loves her new home. Last July, she emailed “…right now the temp. outside is 90 degrees, the thermostat inside shows 73 degrees, with no AC running. I basically do not need the air conditioner at all! I very much appreciate the job you have done! My house is wonderful!”

Plan 217 (modified)
3,812 sq ft living
4 Bed + Media/Rec Rm
3.5 Baths
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $118

Hi-Performance home front elevationRECORD BREAKING, NET-ZERO HOME — JUN, 2010


Plan #109 (modified)
As built by Tommy Williams Homes

Tommy Williams Homes in Gainesville, FL has built a modified ESHP Summerville model #109, as a true Net-Zero Energy Home. But it’s much more than that.

According to a recent (April 2012) Department of Energy Case Study, the home produces 37% more power than the owners enjoy using!
*The actual energy use reflects an amazing minus 37 HERS Index. This remarkable home was built for just $94 per square foot of conditioned space.

Plan 109 (modified)
1,546 sq ft living
3 Bed / 2 Bath
HERS Index: -37
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $0
Has received an energy credit since completion.

Award Winning Hi-Performance home front elevationCLEARWATER PLAN #101 — FEB, 2010

The Clearwater Model, Plan #101, was the first right-sized luxury, Hi-Performance home designed by ESHP visionary, Dave Jenkins.
The home that inspired the company Energy Smart Home Plans, is also an award winning best seller!

In early 2010, Gainesville, Florida builder, Tommy Williams Homes constructed this open floor plan design as the Southeast’s first production-built, Net-Zero Energy Home. The great looking home sold in just sixteen days for full price, solidifying the contractor’s commitment to building only Hi-Performance and Net-Zero Energy Homes.

This same home would also won Four 2010 Aurora Awards, including the Judges Choice Award, the Best Green and Energy-Efficient Home Awards, the Best Design (under $500K), as well as two coveted Grand Awards. One of the Aurora Award judges said, “This is how all homes should be built.”

The US Department of Energy has published two case studies documenting the game-changing home available below.
You’ll find that after a year of occupancy the home continues to amaze, producing 7% more energy than the family consumed last year.

Imagine how happy the owners were when they found out the first electric bill was a credit for $96?

Plan 101
2,248 sq ft living
3 Bed + Den
2-1/2 Bath

HERS Index: -2
Average Monthly Energy Cost: $0
Has received an energy credit since completion

Aurora Awards Press Release: Our judges were thrilled to see so many builders and designers incorporating green building practices into their designs. From affordable housing to commercial projects the Aurora Awards had its share of exemplary home designs. As one judge stated about the winner of the Special Judges Award, “One challenge facing housing is consumer education regarding green and energy efficient construction. This project demonstrates that green doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive nor do you have to compromise on features within the project.”

Another judge commented that “this is exactly what we should be building.”