New DOE Programs Focus on Home Energy Improvement

May 28th, 2015 by Casey Flores

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched three programs that the agency says focus on improving energy efficiency in U.S. homes by streamlining processes and expanding awareness of the energy performance of homes.

Through the Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator, national organizations, federal agencies and regional, state and local leaders in real estate and energy efficiency will expand the availability and use of reliable home energy information during residential real estate transactions.

Those new partners include organizations such as the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and U.S. Green Building Council.

“By improving the efficiency of buildings across the country, Better Buildings partners are saving money by saving energy, creating more sustainable communities, and helping to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change,” says under secretary for science and energy Franklin Orr. “Expanding the program to include water savings and the residential sector means that American families can be a part of this successful partnership that cuts costs and pollution.”

The other new program—the Home Upgrade Program Accelerator—supports residential efficiency programs managed by utilities and state and local governments as they upgrade services to more homes across the country. According to a DOE statement, these programs currently complete hundreds of thousands of home upgrades annually with an average savings of 20 percent for participating households. By improving their overall effectiveness, these programs could complete millions of home energy upgrades annually.

New partners in the Home Upgrade Program Accelerator include Arizona Public Service, Build It Green and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Additionally, the DOE has a new online resource, the Better Buildings Solution Center, for businesses and state and local governments across the country. This online tool is designed to help organizations explore the solutions tested and proven by partners. Users can browse energy solutions by topic, building type, solution type, specific barrier, technology, location and more. There are more than 200 solutions available currently, and 100 more are expected to be added by the end of 2015, according to a release.

The goal behind these programs is “to make commercial, public, industrial and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade.”

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