Savenia Launches Revolutionary Home ‘Shell’ Ratings

Today we are delighted to announce the launch of our long awaited Home Shell Ratings, an innovative home rating system to capture the dollar savings to home buyers of enhanced insulation, efficient windows, air sealing and other factors making up the building envelope. The Savenia ‘Shell’ Rating is our 6th product category (Appliances, Lighting, Water Heaters, HVAC, Solar, Shell) in an effort to unlock the value of efficiency upgrades in residential homes. See the full release here.

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We’ve teamed up with Sandy Spring Builders, one of the leading high-end custom home builders and remodelers in the DC metro area to expand Savenia ratings to their new homes. Savenia has already awarded the Shell, Appliance, Water Heater, and Lighting plans in the Sandy Spring Savvy ‘SL’ line with a Gold Rating, signifying they are amongst the most energy efficient in the country.

Millions of Americans have upgraded their insulation as part of government or utility incentive programs, while new home builders are starting to pay more attention to the building envelope. These shell improvements have value – they can save thousands per year in utilities and can cost thousands more than the average home to install.

Studies show buyers are willing to pay a premium price (+9%) for efficiency rated homes that save on utility bills. With the launch of Savenia Shell Ratings, we can now help sellers, builders, Realtors and renovators unlock the value of these features with Savenia Home Rating Labels and marketing materials to help them differentiate, sell faster and capture more value.

It is a pleasure to work with Sandy Spring Builders, who have made a real commitment to building high efficiency into the core of their new homes.

Savenia helps homeowners, Realtors, builders and renovators unlock the value of home efficiency upgrades. www.saveniahome.com

Savenia Teams with GCAAR to Educate Realtors on Promoting Efficiency Upgrades

Savenia, whose home rating labels are now featured on homes across the DC area (including The White House) and in 6 states nationwide, has teamed up with the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (GCAAR) Capital Area Realtor magazine to educate REALTORS® on promoting homes with efficiency upgrades. GCAAR is one of the nation’s largest real estate associations, and their REALTOR® magazine reaches some 9,000 readers in the capital region.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 4.05.51 PMRecognized for our expertise in home energy efficiency, Savenia emphasizes how REALTORS® can promote the value of efficiency features they increasingly encounter in their listings. Sellers are eager to promote the many thousands of dollars of upgrades and utility savings that today’s buyers are looking for. Savenia’s full-page guide gives REALTORS® a step-by-step process to start effectively marketing these valuable upgrades.

Savenia helps homeowners, REALTORS®, builders and renovators UNLOCK the value of home efficiency upgrades. Solar, High Efficiency Appliances, HVAC, Lighting, Water Heating and more.

Savenia provides home sellers with customized Home Rating Labels, marketing materials and online marketing to differentiate, sell faster, and capture the full value of homes for sale.

GCAAR is taking a leading role in educating REALTORS® on home sustainability attributes to support the next wave in growth of efficient homes and energy conscious buyers.

Savenia Rates White House Solar System

imagesToday we proudly rated the solar system recently installed on The White House rooftop. After meeting with the US Department of Energy about our innovative new Savenia Solar Ratings, we are able to award the White House our coveted Savenia Solar Gold Rating.

The White House installed a 6.3kW solar system, and we estimate the system value at almost $27,000. In addition, we estimate the system will earn up to another $43,000 over the next 15 years through energy production plus renewable energy certificates minus expenses.

This system gets a Savenia Gold Rating because of the high return on investment for someone looking to move into this house….whoever that will be in 2017.

We are providing a copy of the Savenia Rating here for the White House to display to the public.

Savenia helps homeowners, Realtors, builders and renovators unlock the value of home efficiency upgrades. www.saveniahome.com

Savenia Rates one of Largest Residential Solar Installations in Maryland

 

BC8380315 - Solar PanelsSavenia was delighted to recently rate the solar installation at a beautiful home for sale at 1212 Bernoudy Road in White Hall, Maryland.

In what we understand to be one of the largest residential solar installations in the state of Maryland – the home has 88 panels producing some 22kW of electricity. Our Savenia Solar Rating shows that the system itself is worth upwards of $126,000, and could earn up to $155,000 over the next 15 years for the new buyer. This system earned a Savenia Gold rating due to its high return for the new home buyer.

“This is a uniquely beautiful home on 15+ peaceful acres with countryside views, structurally insulated panels and geothermal throughout in addition to one of the largest residential solar systems in Maryland” said Heidi Krauss from Krauss Real Property Brokerage. “Savenia makes it easy to explain the benefits of solar so prospective buyers can see the full value of this truly magnificent home”.

Savenia helps homeowners, Realtors, builders and renovators unlock the value of efficiency upgrades.

How Much Is Your Solar System Worth To Home Buyers?

It could be a lot.  Several large studies now show that solar can increase home values by as much as $15-25K depending on system size and age. But most solar system owners undersell the benefits when they market their home. The typical listing for a home with solar panels says somewhere in the details…..wait for it…..solar.  

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 3.01.33 PMSellers should say more. Buyers are interested in saving money on their energy bills, and this can be a differentiator to get a home sold faster. Some systems even earn money by selling energy back to the utility, a big selling point. Even in cases where the solar system is leased and cash flow is about break-even, buyers are interested in the environmental benefits of a home with clean energy. And for many leased systems, convincing the new buyer to keep the lease is crucial – newer leases now require home sellers to “buy out” the remaining lease term if the new owners don’t agree to the lease’s conditions.

Savenia helps homeowners, realtors, builders and renovators unlock the value of efficiency upgrades – and with our large databases, we’re in a great position to help solar homeowners cash in on their investments.
If you have solar on your home and wondered how best to market this to buyers – please get in touch at info@savenialabs.com.  Or sign up to learn more here.
Thanks everyone for your continued support!

 

Electricity Prices Rise Again in 2013 – 10th Straight Year

Residential electricity prices rose again in 2013 for the 10th straight year. The average US household now pays around 12 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, 2% ahead of last year but 44% above the cost back in 2002 before the current decade of price increases began.  Savenia Labs ElectroSavvy-DB database tracks energy cost and environmental impact data by zip code.

ElectroSavvy-DB LogoSome 80% of states saw prices increase, with Louisiana rates jumping almost 11%, while RI, NY, CA and ID saw increases in the 6-7% range.  The highest rates in the country continue to be in Hawaii at 3x the national average, followed by NY, AK, CT, VT and CA which all pay between 45-55% more than average. Illinois was the only state to see a double digit drop in prices of 11% vs last year.

While power plants are slowly moving to replace coal with natural gas – the impact is not yet being felt by residential customers. Forecasting is difficult as electricity demand continues to grow while natural gas supply tries to keep up with higher demand from the colder winter in the east and other sectors. It looks increasingly likely that 2014 prices will rise again.

Buyers will make very different purchase decisions based on local electric, gas and water pricing which can swing operating costs quite dramatically based on zip code. Savenia found that the least expensive washing machine to operate in some cities costs hundreds more to operate than other models in different locations, all due to local utility pricing. Savenia captures these differences to help buyers make better decisions. In RetailEnterprise and now for Home buyers and sellers.

 

 

Savenia Turns 5 – Rates 150,000 Products

We’ve come a long way since launching energy ratings on a handful of small appliances at Strosniders Ace Hardware Store in Bethesda and Silver Spring at the end of 2011.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.58.46 AMSince then we’ve built a massive database of energy ratings on 150,000 products; appliances, lightbulbs, electronics and more covering over 30 categories. And we’re presenting the data in ways never seen before – pinpointed to every zip code with localized utility cost and environmental impact databases for electricity, natural gas, water, propane and heating oil.

In the process we’ve been able to touch millions of purchasing decision-makers – large and small with a new way to think about buying products that save utility costs and go easy on the environment.

On our 5th birthday – we want to say a big thank you to all of our partners and supporters in Retail, EnterpriseHome and elsewhere for supporting our growth over this period!

Natural Gas Prices Decline in 2013 – 5th Year Running

Natural gas prices to US residential customers declined by 4% in 2013, marking the 5th straight year on year decline. Prices last peaked in 2008 and have since dropped 26%.

GasSavvy-DB LogoSavenia Labs recent update of our GasSavvy-DB database includes natural gas prices and impacts by zip code.  The highest natural gas prices in the country were in Hawaii – where residents paid almost $5 per therm, some 5x more than the median US price. Colorado has the lowest prices, around 75 cents per therm at a savings of 25% from the US median. Almost every state saw a decline in residential natural gas prices in 2013.

At the same time, electricity prices continue to rise (even though many power plants run on natural gas) and this is changing the dynamics of purchasing decisions for gas vs. electric appliances like furnaces and heat pumps – where traditionally the more efficient electric heat pump had the edge.

Despite this long-term trend, market conditions and weather can still have significant impacts on short-term pricing. Prices hit a 5-year high on Feb. 24 2014 as temperatures plunged due to the infamous polar vortex, with unanticipated high consumption pushing natural gas inventories to their lowest levels in the last 10 years. Since then, as inventories have adjusted, prices have subsided.

Going forward, pricing dynamics are harder to predict as more domestic gas supply (which normally means lower prices) is pitted against higher priced export customers. There are also outstanding questions on the environmental impacts of natural gas – both to air pollution and water supplies, and we look forward to larger scale studies to help quantify the differences vs. coal and other sources.

Buyers will make very different purchase decisions based on local gas, electric and water pricing which can swing operating costs quite dramatically based on zip code. Savenia captures these differences to help buyers make better decisions. In Retail, Enterprise and now for Home buyers and sellers.

Savenia Launches Home Ratings

 

Today we launched our newest innovation – Savenia Home Ratings.  You can see the full release here. Savenia Home is a new service aimed at revolutionizing the information people use to evaluate, buy and sell residential homes. Savenia Home Ratings help home buyers and sellers calculate the value of enesavenia_Hor_w_arrow_TM_NEWrgy-saving appliances, lighting and improvements before they buy or sell.

For home buyers, the ratings give the information they need to see behind the purchase price when shopping. For home sellers, the ratings provide a way to quantify and explain valuable upgrades to prospective buyers.

Savenia Home is the next step in our business model of providing relevant energy cost and environmental impact information at key buying and selling inflection points. The idea is to put the information where buyers and sellers are most likely to look – resulting in more informed decisions and value gains. For Retail, Enterprise and now Residential Homes.

We launch Savenia Home with the best in the business…and are proud to be working with Jane Fairweather Real Estate and Sandy Spring Builders – both national leaders in real estate and custom home building. Savenia Home Ratings are being used to guide the historic restoration of the Button Farmhouse in Seneca Creek State Park and the home rating label is now available. We appreciate the support of Bethesda Green and all of our partners and collaborators that continue to propel us further ahead with advice, suggestions and door-opening introductions.

Find out more and tell your friends about Savenia Home by visiting www.saveniahome.com.

Look for Savenia Energy Ratings at participating retail stores.

Savenia Reveals First Look at Foreign Language Energy Rating Labels

 

Today we revealed a first look at Savenia Energy Rating Labels in Arabic, Chinese and Spanish which, together with our popular English labels, cover over 1/3 of the world population.  See the press release here.

template_4up-2We developed these labels not only with foreign languages, but local currencies and energy costs based on zip codes in Cairo, Shanghai, and Barcelona in addition to our hometown of Bethesda, Maryland.

Most countries still use first generation energy rating labeling systems that don’t allow for customization according to location.  And global retailers looking to drive their sustainability labeling around the world have had few options. Until now.

Savenia provides a unique and powerful solution for informing and educating buyers so they make better purchase decisions that reduce energy costs and energy demand.

And we think that makes sense in any language.

Let us know what you think. And make sure you check out our English labels in participating stores in the DC / Baltimore metro area here.