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ENERGY STAR Homes Will Become An Inland Empire Standard

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By Cheryl Brown

New houses in Claremont brought out many people looking to move up or to change their locations. The million dollar homes have attracted a diverse group of people with one thing in common, money!

They came to Stone Canyon Preserve for the 3,000 to 5,000 sq. ft homes on two acre lots, and as they looked through them came out to see the reason they were tagged energy efficient. They are a part of the Energy Star homes which allow the builder to take advantage of the ENERGY STAR name, logo and a variety of other resources.

Boubakary Dialo, Ph.D, his wife Lynda, and daughter Chaye‚ were there to see if they wanted to move. They live in nearby Upland where he is in Computer Science and she owns her own business. "My husband looks at the details," she said. The details in some of the homes are unique.

One model has two master bedrooms one on the first floor the other directly above it. They have large backyards, which are landscaped for an extra charge, Vaulted ceilings, and large windows allow the sun to shine in. " They (homes) are well done,” said the very particular Dialo, "the quality is very good.”

The trend to return to porch areas in the front of the house, the cobblestone street treatment, undulating front yards with nice setbacks and dramatic entryways plus pantries, spacious open area living spaces, and built-in cabinets in bedrooms and in living areas are wonderful.

Ida Young of the Pomona Chapter of Jack and Jill said in a word, "gorgeous." Vickie Goss said she loves to go to home openings and she wishes someday to live in a house of this magnitude but until she can she will live in her new Fontana home. "I just wonder how people can afford these," she said.

Money was not the case in many looking at the homes; availability was the key problem. "There is a waiting list of 300 people," said the agent selling. That day six houses were released.

One thing that happened on opening day is when some customers finished looking at the houses they journeyed through the Southern California Edison energy saving exhibits. The new houses come equipped with energy saving appliances, windows, lights, and anything that using energy or effects energy in a home. Builders are given incentives to build more efficient homes in the terms of lower and in some cases no cost.

Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Co. and Pacific Gas and Electric won the national ENERGY STAR awards recently presented in Washington, DC. The program provides builders with information on the benefits of energy-efficient homes plus financial incentives for offering customers ENERGY STAR homes. Approximately $11.5 million in such incentives were provided in 2003 to offset the added construction costs of energy-efficient building practices. These homes are 35 to 45 percent more energy-efficient than the National Model Energy Code.

"These new energy efficient homes look like any other, but cost less because homeowners spend less on home utility bills each month," said SCE spokesperson Marlon Walker.

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