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The Energy House, association of energy efficiency experts, launches two new show case homes

The Energy House, an association of 27 metro D.C. energy experts in the residential housing sphere, is launching construction on its seventh and eighth showcase homes this week. The association has also launched a nonprofit, the Energy House Links Group (EHLG), to educate the public about energy efficiency.
"An educated consumer makes good decisions," explains Charles Juris, president of the Energy House team. "We can speak to open houses and at events. We don't talk about 'green.' It's really about energy efficiency. 'Green' is going to become standard."
The first five Energy House showcases were all upgrades to existing, privately owned homes. They made use of cutting-edge technologies, including geothermal heating and cooling systems, electric spot heating and cooling systems, solar and geothermal hot water heaters and laptop and iPhone-accessible thermostats, as well as traditional energy-saving measures such as adding insulation, caulking and weatherstripping.
The sixth Energy House, located in Arlington, was newly constructed and features a green roof. "Arlington is a very friendly, very ecofriendly community," Juris says. "They've done so much with [energy efficiency] education, and they're working hard to bring people incentives." The seventh and eighth Energy Houses will both be located in Arlington. "They'll have full geothermal systems, Energy Star, LEED—everything," Juris explains. "They'll be 60 percent more efficient than [the builder's] code requires them to be."
The showcase homes are designed to educate, during weekend open houses (typically before the owners move in), but they also serve as advertisements for the partnership companies' businesses.
In addition, "We monitor our homes," Juris explains, "so we have all the data and we can 'prove' the savings. People like to see numbers to have proof."
The 27 companies that make up the Energy House team are independently owned and operated. They are vetted by Juris and work together in the name of energy efficiency, whether on a one-bedroom condo or a 6000-square-foot historic home. "They all have a common goal," says Renee Dexter, EHLG's secretary. "Every [decision] they make is strategic."

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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