MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - As one of the city's newest neighborhoods begins to take shape, builders prepare a new generation of homes.
A four bedroom house in Montgomery's New Park community is the city's first 'Energy Star' home.
"You follow a certain protocol that they have and use designated appliances and lighting and insulation levels," explained Bret Warren, energy consultant for the Home Builders Association of Alabama.
The 'Energy Star' seal means the house is at least 15% more efficient than standard construction, boasting proper insulation, light fixtures--even a state of the art water heater.
The upgrades, Warren says, aren't necessarily expensive.
"You can actually recoup the cost of your energy efficiency in about six to eight months."
With rising costs, saving money 'in the long run' is a hot selling point for home buyers.
"The bills will be a little bit better. You spend a little bit more for the price of the home, but at the end of the month, the bill is probably a little bit cheaper," said Bridgette Poon, who took a tour of the house.
Don't forget incentive programs for home builders making their way through Congress. It's all part of a push to boost the construction business and conserve energy.
"It's not rocket science, but it will definitely make a huge difference in the comfort in the home, and the amount of money it takes for you to stay comfortable in the home," Warren said.
The house also boasts heat pumps and a efficient heating and air conditioning system, installed by students from Trenholm State Technical College.