GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Four out of the nine traditional homes featured in this weekend's Parade of Homes are highly energy efficient.
Developer-builder John Moir, and owner of Sunshine Development Company in Fruita, said he has always been concerned about energy efficiency and aims to build homes 40 percent more efficient than national standards call for.
His Parade home is an energy efficient townhome in Fruita's Village of Country Creek - a subdivision for residents 55 and older.
One of the home's important energy-saving features is its ground source heat pump.
In the summer hot outdoor air is circulated through underground pipes, and mixed with the ground's cooler temperatures. Conversely, cool wintertime temperatures mix with the warmer underground temperatures, to get a jump-start heating the air during the winter.
Energy bills average $100 a month, Moir said.
Moir's homes are equipped with high-efficiency windows, Energy Star rated appliances, and energy-efficient lighting fixtures and fluorescent bulbs. He also makes sure he uses low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and flooring.
"The key is paying attention to details," Moir said.
"He puts great value on efficiency and that's why his houses are so well built," said Darin Carei, who owns EnergyWise Companies along with partner Gary Tollefson.
EnergyWise specializes in performing energy audits of commercial buildings and existing homes, and qualify new homes to be Energy Star rated.
Moir's energy-efficient townhomes sell for about $250,000.
Parade homes by builders Griffin Concepts, Davidson Homes and Conquest Construction are all highly efficient homes, Carei said.
It's "movement in the right direction" having so many efficient homes on this year's tour.
"We've just started getting into Energy Star and green building," said Debbie Rich, executive officer of the Housing and Building Association of Northwestern Colorado - sponsors of the 28th annual Parade of Homes.
"The Association is doing more (training) to get its members (designated) as certified green professionals."
The Parade of Homes, which starts today and runs through Sunday, includes nine traditional Parade homes, meaning they have been landscaped and staged, and 19 nontraditional homes.
There are green building aspects to all the traditional homes, Rich said. Dubbed the Parade of Opportunity, this year's event features 28 homes varying in size from 1,300 square feet to just over 4,000 square feet. Prices range from $244,900 to $1.69 million.
The "opportunity" refers to the 19 nontraditional Parade homes, that may or may not be landscaped or staged.
"We wanted to do something different this year," Rich said. "There are so many beautiful homes on the market, and with first-time homebuyer credits and a low mortgage rate we wanted to create a Parade of Opportunity."
All the non-traditional homes are 2007-built or newer, are vacant and for sale.
Moir enters one of his homes in the Parade each year. On last year's model, which serves as the company's office, he added photovoltaic panels.
"We're trying to come close to a net-zero energy home," Moir said.
A net-zero home produces as much energy as it consumes.
Parade of Homes tickets are $10 and can be purchased at all City Market stores. Maps are available in the Parade of Homes supplement published by the Free Press, or at City Market.
Each participating home will have representatives available to talk with visitors about the home, the builder and the area. For more on the Parade of Homes, visit gjfreepress.com and click on the link on the homepage which will take you to the official Parade of Homes guide, or turn to page 4 and 5 of the Real Estate Showplace inside today's issue.
Reach Sharon Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.