WaterSense*  Labeled
                                              Tvlew  Homes
          The WaterSense program is currently developing a
          labeling specification for single-family residential
          new homes. A draft specification has been
     released for public comment; builders will be able to
     label their new homes once it is finalized. The following
     describes the water-saving features of a WaterSense
     labeled new home of the future.

     Residential water use accounts for more than half of
     publicly supplied water in the United States. The U.S.
     Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA) established
     WaterSense to protect the future of the nation's water
     supply and to promote water-efficient products and
     services with a simple, easy-to-identify label. EPA
     encourages homeowners  to replace their older, ineffi-
     cient toilets and faucets with more water-efficient
     models. As populations increase, our water resources
     will be taxed further. The next step is to build new
     homes that are designed to use  significantly less
     water—inside and out.

     To encourage homebuilders to  construct water-effi-
     cient, single-family residences, EPA is developing a
     specification to  label new homes that will be
     designed to reduce water consumption through
     efficient plumbing fixtures, hot  water delivery, appli-
     ances, landscape design, and irrigation systems.

     How  Can Homes  Save Water?
     WaterSense labeled new homes  will combine
     WaterSense labeled products with other water-effi-
     cient fixtures and practices to reduce the amount of
     water used by approximately 20  percent. In addition
     to WaterSense labeled toilets and faucets, these new
     homes include dishwashers and  clothes washers with
     the ENERGY STAR label, if those appliances are
     installed when the home is built. WaterSense labeled
     new homes will incorporate a hot water distribution
     system that decreases the  amount of time it takes for
                             hot water to reach the faucet or shower—waiting for
                             hot water wastes thousands of gallons of water per
                             year. Pressure regulator valves will be installed down-
                             stream of the water meter to reduce the pressure of
                             the water going into the home. This reduces the maxi-
                             mum water flow from fixtures and the likelihood  of
                             leaking pipes and hoses.

                             Builders will have the option of developing an out-
                             door "water budget"and planning accordingly, or
                             ensuring that the landscaping is designed efficiently.
                             If the home has an outdoor irrigation system, it must
                             be installed and audited by WaterSense irrigation
                             partners to ensure efficiency.

                             How Much  Water Can They Save?
                             While the amount of savings that can be realized by
                             living in a WaterSense labeled new home is depend-
                             ent upon the number of people living in the home
                             and their water use habits, a WaterSense labeled
                             new home will be designed  and built to be about
                             20 percent more efficient than similar new homes
                             being built today. At this level of efficiency, house-
                             holds can save more than 10,000 gallons of water
                             per year. WaterSense labeled new homes will also
                             realize significant energy savings, due to the
                             reduced amount of hot water used.

                             When Can New Homes Be Labeled?
                             EPA is in the process of finalizing its specification for
                             water-efficient single-family homes, including devel-
                             oping a system for independent, third-party inspec-
                             tion of homes that apply for the WaterSense label.
                             Once the specification is completed, EPA will start
                             working with builder partners, who may begin con-
                             structing and promoting WaterSense labeled new
                             homes as early as 2009. For more information, visit
September 2008
(866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) •  www.epa.gov/watersense • watersense@epa.gov
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