Efficient Homes Come to Billings - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Efficient Homes Come to Billings

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How much did you pay for your last energy bill? One local builder and an energy-efficiency group are teaming up to save home buyers some money.

It looks like your typical home, but builder Brad McCall said there's more to it. "This home is incredibly efficient, and it's probably considerably more efficient than any home in Billings," McCall said.

McCall Homes joined with the Energy Efficiency Alliance, a collaboration with NorthWestern Energy, to bring better homes to Billings. "The more you learn about building properly and building energy efficient, you learn that the benefits are indoor air quality, so it's better health, it's comfort, and it's lower cost," McCall said.

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance manager, Neil Grigsby, said they are piloting 13 homes throughout the region. The other home is located in western Montana. "We can help builders get ahead of code adoption and accelerate these building practices into the market to create greater energy savings for the region," Grigsby said.

NorthWestern Energy manager, Deb Young, said the collaboration means positive change in the future. "By working together we can find and define what are going to be the most cost effective and high performance energy efficient standards in new homes that will give new homeowners the comfort and affordability they expect," Young said.

Young and group members said the pilot home will save the owner nearly 30 percent more than the current code standards. Some of the amenities include efficient heating and cooling systems, Energy Star appliances, and advanced building practices like thicker walls and tankless hot water heaters.

The pilot home is monitored by a dashboard over the course of 13 months. The next step will be comparing stats with current specs.