The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 Affordability Contest encourages teams to design and build affordable houses that combined energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems. In this way, the teams demonstrate how energy-saving features can help consumers save money today.
A professional estimator determines the construction cost of each house. Teams earn 100 points for achieving a target construction cost of $250,000 or less. A sliding point scale is then applied to houses with estimated construction costs between $250,001 and $599,999. Houses with estimated costs of $600,000 or more receive zero points.