Arizona leads the country in the number of ENERGY STAR homes which must be at least 15% more efficient than the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. In 2013, 11,200 Energy Star labeled homes were built in the state, representing 63% of the homes built in Arizona that year. Typical ENERGY STAR home features include a 14 SEER (or greater) air conditioner; R-38 attic insulation; less than 20% glass to floor area; low emissivity windows; sealed air distribution ducts; and a tightly sealed building envelope. The high level of Energy Star homes in Arizona is linked to utility promotion efforts (see policies and programs section). [JM1]
The ENERGY STAR program also recognizes energy- efficient commercial buildings. In Phoenix, two commercial properties underwent extensive retrofits to improve their efficiency and comfort, and have obtained the Energy Star label. The Corporate Center on Broadway consists of 4 two-story buildings totaling 46,000 gross square feet of office space with a diversity of tenants who occupy spaces from as little as 500 to approximately 19,000 gross square feet. The property owner and building managers invested approximately $40,000 in various energy savings measures. Retrofits included installation of electronic ballasts and T8 fluorescent lamps, high efficiency HVAC units, and low-E window film on all west and south facing windows. These measures cut annual energy costs by about $15,000, meaning they are yielding a rate of return on the initial investment of over 35%.
The same building owner and managers invested about $500,000 to increase the energy efficiency of their Centre East property, which includes four buildings totaling 95,500 square feet. These improvements have resulted in annual savings of $85,000, for a rate of return of 17% in this case.