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Electric Homes New Construction

BrightLeaf Homes
Project Photo
PROJECT SNAPSHOT: BrightLeaf Homes
Energy-Saving Improvements
  • Air tightness of 1.11-1.26 ACH50
  • Heat pump space and water heating
  • ENERGY STAR® appliances
  • WaterSense® plumbing fixtures
  • LED lighting
  • Induction cooktops
  • 3kW solar panels
Estimated Annual Energy Savings 6,000–7,600 kWh per home
Estimated Annual Electric Cost Savings $760–970* per home
ComEd Energy Efficiency Program Incentive $2,000 per home

*Estimated annual cost savings are based on an electricity rate of 12.76 cents per kWh.

Project Summary

BrightLeaf Homes, LLC is a Chicago-area home builder passionate about high-quality, high-performance, eco-friendly construction. They have gained a reputation in the industry as an early adopter of the latest advances in sustainable design and emerging technology.

Naturally, BrightLeaf was thrilled to hear about the ComEd® Energy Efficiency Program’s Electric Homes New Construction offering—and set out to build two all-electric prototype homes in the Chicago suburb of Forest Park. “It was important for us to collect timely, accurate data and experience first-hand the differences in comfort, efficiency, and performance compared to homes powered by natural gas,” says Scott Sanders, CEO of BrightLeaf.

In fact, BrightLeaf built three new homes on the same street, at the same time—two of them all-electric, and one heated by natural gas—making comparisons over time as easy as possible.

The Solution

BrightLeaf surpassed the program’s core requirements for high-quality, high-performance homes, and incorporated additional technology enhancements to appeal to the eco-conscious homebuyer.

They received a $2,000 incentive for each all-electric home from ComEd to integrate a holistic package of energy efficiency upgrades. While both homes used staggered-stud wall construction, BrightLeaf varied the approach to insulation (cellulose vs. fiberglass batt) and air sealing (house wrap vs. air- and water-resistive structural sheathing)—achieving air tightness ratings of 1.11 to 1.26 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50).

Additionally, they installed high-efficiency, ducted air-source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, WaterSense plumbing fixtures, indoor and outdoor ENERGY STAR LED lighting, and ENERGY STAR appliances. The all-electric homes significantly exceed basic code requirements and will achieve ENERGY STAR and the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready certifications.

The homes also feature induction cooktops, which heat up rapidly while remaining relatively cool to the touch. Solar photovoltaic panels were also installed at both homes to provide renewable energy and offset electricity from the grid—helping homeowners take even more control of their energy costs and environmental impact.

Project Benefits

The electric homes are each projected to save 6,000 to 7,600 kWh per year compared to an electric home built only to state building code, saving homeowners up to $970* per year in energy bills—even before factoring in savings from the solar panels. In addition to energy savings, the future homeowners will enjoy elevated comfort in their air-tight, high-quality home, and peace of mind thanks to a safer home with no risk of combustion or carbon monoxide (no natural gas lines were installed).

BrightLeaf is excited about adding all-electric projects to their portfolio. Sanders says, “Providing our clients with a well-researched and tested all-electric option will enable us to provide them with the best home in their desired location.”

Sanders anticipates appealing to an even wider set of customers with the renewable energy potential offered by electric homes. “We think our clients are really going to appreciate the ability to truly go net zero without needing to find a way to offset the remainder of their energy use that is typically derived from fossil fuels.”

About the Electric Homes New Construction Offering

Advances in air-source heat pumps, tight wall assemblies, solar panels, electric vehicles, and smart home technologies present new possibilities for residential construction.

Partner with ComEd to move the home building industry toward a renewable energy future—and receive a $2,000 incentive for each qualifying energy-efficient electric new home. Just a few reasons to build all-electric include:

  • Avoid gas line costs and coordination
  • Accommodate flexible designs and layouts
  • Upsell by bundling with solar, EV-ready, and smart home features
  • Future-proof your business to appeal to evolving customer preferences
  • Offer increased safety and peace of mind (no combustion in the home)
Electric Homes New Construction

“Providing our clients with a well-researched and tested all-electric option will enable us to provide them with the best home in their desired location.”

- Scott Sanders, BrightLeaf Homes

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