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Why KB Home’s green initiatives are a first mover advantage

Brent Nyitray, CFA, MBA

KB Home's full-year 2013 earnings: Must-know takeaways (Part 2 of 6)

(Continued from Part 1)

KB Home is a leader in energy-efficient homes

KB is a believer in sustainability and has taken the lead in developing energy-efficient homes. It has been able to build a four-bedroom, 2,500 square foot home that has an average energy bill of less than $100 a month. It has been expanding its ZeroHouse 2.0 program, which strives to build a home that will have projected energy costs of zero.

Sustainability guiding principles

KB Home releases a sustainability report every year. Its guiding principles are:

  • “Offer environmentally friendly and affordably priced homes, products, and features that minimize our homeowners’ carbon footprint and energy usage, conserve natural resources and create more sustainable homes and communities.”
  • “Utilize our history of innovation and our process-driven approach to reduce waste and natural resource usage throughout our organization.”
  • “Be an active and responsible member of the communities in which we operate.”
  • “Be an environmental educator for all our employees, homebuyers and business partners regarding home energy conservation and environmental sustainability.”
  • “Maintain our standards of transparency and corporate citizenship by publicly reporting on the progress in and challenges to our sustainability efforts.”

Specific measures to make homes more sustainable

  • Installation of Energy Star appliances in all homes and adhering to the new Energy Star Version 3 standards
  • Continue to provide solar panel installation as standard or optional feature in selected markets (also, it continues to explore future ways to facilitate offering solar power systems in more homes)
  • Provide an energy monitoring system in every home as a standard feature to increase homeowners’ awareness of their consumption. This can result in additional energy savings of up to 10%
  • Improve indoor air quality with low-VOC paints
  • Continue to promote its WaterSense-labeled new homes, which consume less water
  • Expand low-water usage landscaping standards.

KB advertises (as the above graph shows) the projected energy savings a homeowner could be expected to achieve under its green initiatives.

Continue to Part 3

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