The Ultimate Open House New Home Tour™ presented by Energy Trust of Oregon, NW Natural and Standard TV & Appliance offers two full weekends of free house hunting for homebuyers throughout a five-county area. The eighth annual tour runs April 26-27 and May 3-4 from
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and showcases 45 homes by more than 20 of the area’s top homebuilders.
“Homebuyers are savvier than they’ve ever been when it comes to energy-efficient home features—especially here in the Pacific Northwest,” said Rachel Trice, Vice President, Marketing, Membership Services & Events, Home Builders Association of Metro Portland. “Our homebuilders are answering that call by providing stunning, newly constructed homes with the latest trends and technology that today’s homeowners demand. That mission is supported by efficient natural gas appliances and energy efficiency built in with EPS from Energy Trust.”
Energy Trust is working with local builders to offer EPSTM, an energy performance score, on a majority of the tour homes this year. EPS offers an easy-to-read snapshot of a home’s expected energy use, monthly utility costs and carbon impact. It also helps homebuyers compare these features while shopping.
To receive an EPS, a third-party verifier inspects a home and assigns it a numerical score—the lower the EPS, the better. Factors such as a home’s size, level of insulation, air leakage, heating and cooling systems, major appliances, lighting and water heating are all part of the home’s score. The rating also shows how the efficient newly constructed home compares to a home of similar size built to Oregon building code standards.
“Energy use and a carbon footprint are important factors to consider when buying a new home. They affect a home’s energy costs, year-round comfort and environmental impact,” said Matt Braman, residential program manager, Energy Trust. “Builders offering EPS help homebuyers consider a home’s energy use as part of their buying decision, and lead the way in construction of more energy-efficient homes.”
To learn more about EPS, provided by Energy Trust for both newly built and existing homes, and see a sample score sheet, visit www.energytrust.org/eps.
“Homebuyers will also see that nearly all of the homes on the tour are equipped with natural gas connections and appliances, which is a must-have for homebuyers,” said John Frankel, NW Natural marketing manager. “Not only does natural gas allow you to have the latest in home equipment trends—it also saves on your heating bills and reduces your overall carbon footprint.”
Three homes on the tour are specifically designed to inspire with highlights ranging from convertible living space, downstairs bonus rooms and the highest energy standards. All three Idea Homes at this year’s Ultimate Open House will feature an EPS, along with energy-efficiency features designed to keep monthly utility bills low. The homes are built by Gertz Fine Homes, Portland Development Group and Stone Bridge Homes NW.
NW Natural will be hosting a free barbeque lunch in celebration of National Grilling Month, at the following Idea Homes:
- Sunday, April 27, Stone Bridge Homes NW: 19612 SW Sonia Lane, Beaverton
- Saturday, May 3, Gertz: 9070 SW Edgewood St., Tigard
- Sunday, May 4, Portland Development Group: 5110 NE 36th Ave, Portland