Centex offers energy suite

DALLAS, July 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Centex Corporation (NYSE:CTX) today announced the Centex Energy Advantage, a suite of energy-efficient features standard in all Centex homes built nationwide by January 2009. The initiative is expected to have positive, long-term benefits for the company's homebuyers and the environment.

Centex commissioned the NAHB Research Center to conduct a study modeling the energy efficiency of Centex Energy Advantage-equipped homes. The NAHB Research Center concluded that Centex Energy Advantage homes in the study demonstrated an improvement in energy efficiency of up to 22 percent over comparable homes built to the most widely used energy efficiency code (the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code). When compared to the energy efficiency of a typical 10-year-old home (as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America Program), the Centex Energy Advantage homes in the study were shown to be up to 40 percent more energy efficient.(1)

A special feature of the Centex Energy Advantage is an in-home energy monitor. Energy monitors provide real-time information about electricity usage and expense and show the effect of turning on and off various electrical components. Based upon the published studies reviewed by the NAHB Research Center, homeowners who use energy monitors to actively manage their consumption of electricity can reduce their electricity use by 4-15 percent. Centex is the first national homebuilder to announce the installation of an energy monitor in every home it builds.

Features of the Centex Energy Advantage standard package include:(2)

  • -- Energy monitor
  • -- Whirlpool or KitchenAid brand ENERGY STAR(R) qualified appliances
  • -- Lennox high-efficiency HVAC system(3)
  • -- Programmable thermostat(s)
  • -- Low-emissivity windows
  • -- Radiant-barrier roof decking(4)
  • -- R-38, R-40 or R-60 attic insulation (varies by climate zone)
  • -- Compact fluorescent lights in high-traffic areas
  • -- Information for maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing the impact of home operation on the environment

"With today's high energy costs, energy efficiency is front and center for homebuyers," said Tim Eller, chairman and CEO of Centex. "Monthly energy bills are having a growing impact on the budgets of our homebuyers, affecting overall affordability. We wanted to offer our customers -- many of them first-time homebuyers -- a suite of features that will help them operate their homes efficiently. The Centex Energy Advantage takes aim at energy efficiency in a meaningful way."

According to the NAHB Research Center, each Centex Energy Advantage home will produce 1.78 fewer metric tons of carbon per year than a comparable home built to 2006 IECC standards. If the same amount of carbon were released, it would be roughly equivalent to:(5)

  • -- Greenhouse gas emissions from the family automobile for four months
  • -- CO2 emissions from 183 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • -- Annual carbon absorption by more than one-third acre of pine or fir forest

The cumulative effects are significant. For every 10,000 homes Centex builds each year, 17,800 fewer metric tons of carbon could be released than from comparable homes built to 2006 IECC standards. If the same amount of carbon were released, it would be roughly equivalent to:(5)

  • -- Greenhouse gas emissions from 2,957 passenger vehicles in one year
  • -- CO2 emissions from 1.83 million gallons of gasoline consumed
  • -- Annual carbon absorption by 3,670 acres of pine or fir forest

For its most recent fiscal year, the Company sold nearly 25,000 homes.

"We designed the Centex Energy Advantage with a focus on two priorities," said Clayton Traylor, head of environmental affairs for Centex. "First, we want to provide our customers with homes that exceed today's energy efficiency standards while maintaining affordability. Second, we want to empower our customers with the tools and information they need to lower their energy use in the future. Centex Energy Advantage accomplishes both of these objectives and involves the customer in managing energy usage. That's a plus for both the customer and the environment."

About Centex

Dallas-based Centex, founded in 1950, is one of the nation's leading home building companies. Its leading brands include Centex Homes, Fox & Jacobs Homes and CityHomes. In addition to its home building operations, Centex also offers mortgage, title and insurance services. Centex has ranked among the top three builders on FORTUNE magazine's list of "America's Most Admired Companies" for nine straight years and is a leader in quality and customer satisfaction.