New Tradition Homes Starts ENERGY STAR® NextGen Certification

Hockinson New Tradition Home
Photos provided by New Tradition Homes

Family-owned home builder New Tradition Homes has been doing business in Washington for over 35 years. Owned now by brothers Chris Helmes (President) and Kelly Helmes (Vice President), whose parents originally founded the company, has led their team to develop homes and communities for families of all kinds. To date, the company has built homes for over 6,000 families across southwest Washington and the Tri-Cities region. In the last few years, they have expanded to two more cities in Washington: Grandview and Winlock.

New Tradition Homes has been on a pathway to meeting high performance and energy efficient standards since 2004 and since 2006, has been a 100 percent ENERGY STAR® builder. When the team first heard of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s official launch of the ENERGY STAR® NextGen™ Certified Homes and Apartments, a voluntary, leading-edge certification program for the nation’s residential new construction sector, they wanted to get involved. The program was developed with funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and aims to increase national energy and emissions savings.

“When we first heard of the new initiative (NextGen) starting to be promoted by ENERGY STAR in November 2023, it caught our attention,” shared Steve Tapio, building science team leader for New Tradition Homes. “We were looking for an opportunity to go to the next level of performance in our product and NextGen provided a roadmap for that journey. In addition to the most rigorous baseline standards for the ENERGY STAR program (National Version 3.2), it provides a clear pathway to an ‘all-electric’ home. This includes a very high performing heat pump for space heating, a heat pump water heater, electric range, and lastly a prep for an EV charging station. All these features are verified by an independent ENERGY STAR rater who then issues a certificate of compliance.”

Kelly Helmes says that being involved in the program aligns with their commitment to environmental sustainability while also providing the best of the best to their customers.

“From the beginning, we have poured our hearts into better-built homes and communities, designed to last for generations,” he said. “Our longstanding commitment is to build welcoming, safe, and pleasant communities and homes that are well-designed, 100 percent ENERGY STAR® certified (healthier, more comfortable and energy efficient). These homes and communities provide the residents confidence and peace of mind to thrive as they journey through life.”

Brooke Strickland
A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Brooke Strickland is a full-time freelance writer that specializes in writing blogs, website content, and business news for companies & publications around the country. She is also the co-author of Hooked on Games, a book about technology and video game addiction.

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