Energy Star is EPA's, or Environmental Protection Agency, energy efficiency program for the home building industry. To qualify for it homes have to pass an independent verification process to meet EPA's rather stringent guidelines. Houses that make the grade nowadays are a minimum 15% more energy efficient than those that were constructed to the 2004 International Residential Code. And they often consist of extra features that frequently make them 20 to 30% more efficient than regular homes. As you can see, it's a worthy program.
For 2006, there were 15 states where new single-family houses that received the Energy Star exceeded 12% of the total construction volume. And it's with great pleasure that I announce Nevada being at the very top of that list. In Nevada the program's market penetration is a whopping 71%, the second place going to Alaska with 64%. Congrats, Silver State.
Do you know that housing energy consumption is responsible for about 17% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and it's roughly 21% of our energy use. These are pretty high numbers. EPA kicked off the program in 1992 and has worked ever since with the homebuilding industry, states and utilities to improve energy efficiency. It can proudly say today that there are over 3,500 builders nationwide committed to Energy Star.
Let's conclude this with a staggering statistic. In the year 2006 alone, we, with an assist from Energy Star, were able to save $14 billion and contained greenhouse gas emissions that 25 million vehicles would have produced.