Experience the beauty of energy efficiency at this year’s Central Oregon Green Tour. You’ll find homes built for quality, comfort and efficiency, with an EPS™ to prove it. EPS, brought to you by Energy Trust of Oregon, is an energy performance scoring system that gives you an inside look at the energy impact of a newly built home and how much it costs to operate.

With EPS, you can easily compare homes based on efficiency and find those that offer superior comfort and savings. Qualified homes are built to be at least 10 percent more energy efficient than required by current building codes. When you buy a home with an EPS, you know you’re getting a higher level of performance.

“EPS homes have better insulation, they’re properly sealed, they have highly efficient HVAC systems and windows, so there’s improved efficiency and energy-cost savings,” says Andrew Shepard, a program manager with Energy Trust. “As a result of these higher efficiency and thermal requirements, EPS homes deliver a high level of comfort. ”

The benefits don’t stop there. Shepard notes that EPS-rated homes deliver health advantages as well: “Requiring fresh air systems in EPS homes creates a healthier living environment for everyone in the home.”

The  Central Oregon Green Tour is a great opportunity to learn first hand about the benefits of EPS homes. Here’s a closer look at some of the key attributes you’ll find when you step inside an EPS home on this year’s tour:

  1. An energy score that includes estimated utility costs, so you know what to expect before you buy.
  2. Energy-saving lighting solutions and efficient built-in appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters.
  3. High-performance windows that help to deflect heat in the summer and retain it in the winter, with well-sealed window frames that make for a quieter home.
  4. Special framing techniques that allow for extra insulation join forces with energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment to enhance comfort, improve indoor air quality and lower utility bills.
  5. Tight construction helps prevent unwanted pollutants and drafts. Plus, mechanical ventilation systems bring fresh air into the home for healthier indoor air quality.

Be sure to ask about EPS as you explore the featured tour homes, and remember to bring it up with your builder or real estate professional as your home search continues. An EPS home can save you money and energy for years to come. Pick up a Smart Homebuyer Checklist on the tour to get the conversation started, and learn more about EPS at www.energytrust.org/smarthomebuyer.