EPA Launches ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade to Take U.S. Households into the Clean Energy Future

February 4th, 2022 by Editor

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the launch of the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade, a series of high-impact, efficient electric improvements that the agency says can save the average family about $500 a year on utility bills. According to the agency, this expansion of its trademark ENERGY STAR program takes a market-based approach to connect American households at all income levels with the resources they need to plan for the clean energy future.

“Every American can make a difference in protecting our climate with the choices they make at home — and they can save money while they are at it,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “If every household took the actions outlined in the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade, the U.S. could cut its residential annual energy use up to 20% by 2050.”

The ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade is a set of six home improvements designed to work together to deliver significant energy and cost savings, and also help homeowners transition from fossil fuels to a cleaner, healthier and more comfortable home.

The upgrades include:

  • An ENERGY STAR certified air source heat pump for clean and efficient heating and cooling;
  • An ENERGY STAR certified heat pump water heater for super-efficient hot water;
  • An ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat with smart climate controls;
  • High-performing ENERGY STAR certified windows and storm windows;
  • A well-insulated and sealed attic; and
  • An electric vehicle charger-ready home.

The ENERGY STAR program’s network of partners, including leading product manufacturers, retailers, and utilities, will play a central role making ENERGY STAR Home Upgrades available to American households nationwide. Efforts to help make the necessary investments more affordable include support for expanded utility rebate programs and important provisions in the Build Back Better legislation that extend federal income tax credits and authorize new state and federal incentive programs.

In particular, EPA is actively engaged with partners to support innovative financing approaches, such as Inclusive Utility Investments and engaging with federal government programs such as the USDA Rural Utility Service loans and grant programs, DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program, and others to help ensure that all families have access to these upgrades.

The EPA says a central resource for this new initiative is an interactive web-tool that lays out the value of an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade and helps consumers navigate the process with buying guidance, information on financial incentives, and links to qualified contractors.

Learn more about the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade and its interactive web-tool at ENERGYSTAR.gov/homeupgrade.

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  1. Does anybody take anything the EPA says anymore seriously? They have ceased serving the people whose tax dollars fund their bloated budget. These “upgrades” are laughable at best. I’m sure top of the list for home improvements in 2022 will be a charging station for the hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles that have nowhere to plug into coal-fired or oil-fired power plants. And who would have thought that well-insulated walls and attics could save energy? Why were we not informed before of this breakthrough finding? And smart thermostats? Brilliant!

    Of course, they don’t tell precisely where these “$500” a year savings come from, since they have zero clue as to the condition of the home from which they’re predicting these amazing results. But then again, Energy Star was nothing more than a marketing scheme dreamed up by the DOE decades ago and has done little since to provide anything of substance.

    By far, the recent initiative of the NFRC to explain to consumers the meaning of the values shown on the NFRC window labels is miles ahead of what Energy Star, who had a 20 year head start.

    As always, my opinions are my own.

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