With the 20-year anniversary of ENERGY STAR certified homes upon us, I find myself reflecting back on how far we’ve come since building our first truly energy efficient home in suburban Montreal in 1972. We realized, after living there for five years, there is nothing quite like living in a home that is created holistically, with beauty, efficiency and quality of life in mind. In 1978, our family returned to the states and founded Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. in Arkansas.
Twenty years ago, home buyers had no easy way to identify an energy-efficient house from all the others. We searched for identity, name recognition and confirmation of our company’s commitment to energy efficient home design and construction. But when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began certifying new homes in 1995, home buyers gained an easy path to finding a home offering superior energy efficiency and built to higher standards of durability and comfort. So, in 1996 we signed on with Energy Star and the EPA. We are proud to now say that we were one of the first to adopt this new label; now we have been a partner for nearly 20 years. We have watched people fall in love with their beautiful, efficient home – knowing that their home is ENERGY STAR -- “the symbol of energy efficiency in America.” Our customers are assured – before they buy -- that their home will be comfortable, healthy and safe. The Energy Star label assures them that they are investing wisely, and they have committed to a better future for themselves and others.
Now, homebuyers can look for the blue ENERGY STAR label on a home and know that they are purchasing a home that’s better built, more comfortable, and at least 30 percent more energy-efficient -- as compared to a typical new home.
The ENERGY STAR label gives Stitt Energy Systems a marketing advantage and is a clear signal to our customers that our homes are built to last. In appreciation, from time to time, we invite our customers and those living in a “Stitt House” to gather for a picnic or an anniversary celebration, retirement party or home performance mini-seminars. We have seen homeowners come back to renew their acquaintances and celebrate the joy of living in their beautiful, energy-planned home. They bring pictures of their family, their house, and their utility bills and brag about the comfort and reliability of their ENERGY STAR homes. They also relate to having seen their children grow up – knowing that their home and related lifestyle are quietly but definitely reducing their environmental impact each day.
As a company and as staff members, we value our customers’ satisfaction – this is our mission and our work ethic and our future.
As builders, we know that we have a big role to play in ensuring a sustainable future for both homeowners and the environment. With the ENERGY STAR label, homeowners find just how easy it is to put down roots and build a life in a home that’s been designed and built with the buyer’s satisfaction and their future impact in mind.
Orlo Stitt has a B.Sc. from Iowa State and an MBA from the University of Iowa. He founded Stitt Energy Systems in 1978 and is a member of the Northwest Arkansas Home Builders’ Association, American Solar Energy Society, and the US Green Building Council. He has lectured on energy efficiency nationally. He is the author of Holistically Green Homes and lives in a near-zero energy home in South Sun Estates, the energy planned subdivision he developed on Beaver Lake, AR. He is passionate about energy-efficient building, solar energy and protecting the environment and all species. In his free time he also enjoys gardening. He can be found on Facebook and on Stitt Energy’s website.