Texas takes lead in energy-efficient houses

One good piece of news has come from higher utility prices in the state — energy-efficient houses are becoming more the norm than an exception.

Forty-four percent of new houses built in Dallas-Fort Worth last year were designated with the energy-efficient Energy Star designation, compared with 12 percent of houses built nationwide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mary Denton, who bought a 1,900-square-foot Energy Star home in Keller from Choice Homes last year, said she was looking for low utility costs.

She got them: Since she moved to the house in December, her gas bill has not exceeded $20 and her highest electric bill was $120, she said.

"And I set my thermostat at 76 degrees — even lower when I’m working out in the morning," she said.

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