The EIA reports today that 26% of new homes built in the U.S. in 2011 were constructed voluntarily according to Energy Star specifications. Energy efficient construction is saving homeowners money in energy bills, but with so many new homes adapting the Energy Star model of efficiency, demand for home heating could soften.
Your Inputs Monitor reported last week (click here for the story) that residential heating oil prices went up during the first reporting week by nearly two cents. EIA releases weekly data for home heating prices starting October 1 so we have yet to establish trends in home heating for this year.
We do know that, while very volatile at the moment, natural gas, the number 1 choice for home heat for the majority of Americans, has had a very good year from the consumer perspective. WTI crude futures have been equally well behaved, shying lower from the $100 mark.
26% of new homes is little more than a drop in the bucket when it comes to energy consumption, but increasing numbers of home owners are helping to ease home heating demand by consuming at least 15% less energy annually than homes built to similar specifications in 2009.
If the U.S. finds itself with another warm winter, and energy efficiency continues to weigh into construction choices, waning demand could chase home heating prices even lower in the coming years.