Builder Announces Case Study on “Why We Build ENERGY STAR Homes"

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The New York ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes program literally begins at home for Natale builders. “We try to always build projects that we would live in, doing them the right way,” said Larry LaDuca. LaDuca lives in a New York ENERGY STAR Certified Home and sees the program as a good foundation for building a better product.

Natale, who constructs 15 to 20 custom built homes a year in Buffalo and surrounding towns, relies on ENERGY STAR Homes as its competitive edge. Most are single-family houses but some are patio homes and townhomes. Natale highlights the value of the New York ENERGY STAR Homes program to homebuyers. Due to the homebuyer response to that marketing approach, nearly all new home construction by Natale is New York ENERGY STAR Certified.

LaDuca feels that customers who purchase a New York ENERGY STAR Certified Home will appreciate the lower utility costs. Builders can benefit because it sets them apart. “I think we will get business that builders who aren’t participating in New York ENERGY STAR Homes won’t get,” he said.

Builders are offered high-quality program and technical support through the New York ENERGY STAR Homes program. These factors help Natale’s employees understand how to build a better-quality and more efficient home.

LaDuca pointed out the large supply of well-built, available homes constructed in the past 10 to 20 years. With this abundant supply in the market, he said, “If you’re building that same product today as years ago, you don’t have much of a marketing advantage.” Comparing the ENERGY STAR brand as a value akin to endorsement by the Better Business Bureau, he said, “We believe in the product, we believe in being green. It’s better for the environment and it’s better for the client.”

New York ENERGY STAR Certified homes have a tight thermal envelope to keep cooled and warmed air inside the house. Natale uses composite panel construction with insulation sandwiched between structural elements and thorough taping and sealing. The company builds with R40 roof insulation, R25 wall systems and R12.5 basement insulation, insulating the home from top to bottom. LaDuca stressed the need to buy the right products, such as compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and proper ventilation. Ventilation is important to avoid health hazards such as moisture build-up that could lead to mold issues. Meeting New York ENERGY STAR Certified Homes standards, LaDuca maintained, makes a house healthier.

Long-term, it’s also more affordable. “You can’t control your taxes,” he noted, “but you can control how much energy you will use in a year.” When selling a home, Natale includes the cost of meeting New York ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program standards in the budget, explaining to buyers that New York ENERGY STAR is the Natale standard and that Natale doesn’t charge more for meeting those standards.

When conducting its standard six-month and one-year follow ups with buyers, the company finds that homeowners are pleased with their energy savings. “One question we always ask is: Are they surprised by their energy bills. And they’re always surprised at how low they are,” said LaDuca.

To LaDuca, a simple comparison of New York ENERGY STAR Certified Homes with conventional homes is persuasive. “If one house is certified as a New York ENERGY STAR Home and the other is a conventional build, I would show the energy costs over 30 years. The difference is thousands and thousands of dollars over time.” Bottom line? “I wouldn’t build any other way,” said LaDuca.

So, if you’re looking for quality luxury home design with energy efficiency that will save you money, Natale Builders provides the best custom built homes throughout Amherst, Williamsville, Clarence, Lancaster, Orchard Park, and other surrounding Buffalo, NY areas.

About the company:

Natale Builders is a family owned and operated professional home building business with 40 years experience in building custom homes for people across the Western New York area. Their services include the Clarence, Williamsville, Lancaster, Orchard Park and Amherst, New York area. For more information, please visit their website at

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Lisa Norman
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