One out of eight single-family homes built in the US in 2006 qualified for the federal Energy Star rating (details here). In Illinois, fewer than one out of 30 qualified. There’s a word for that, and it ain’t green. (Thanks to John Porterfield at Informed Energy Decisions.)
What’s most embarrassing is that Energy Star’s a moderate standard — at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC). The three states with the greatest Energy Star market penetration aren’t exactly environmentalist hotbeds: Nevada (71 percent), Alaska (64), and Iowa (57). But evidently their builders and consumers know something ours don’t.