Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® is one of the new home energy efficiency services to be further developed and expanded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the new Partnerships for Home Energy Efficiency. This service is offered by qualified home improvement contractors who can provide whole house solutions to high energy bills and uncomfortable homes. Supported by local sponsors, the contractors offering this service will do a comprehensive review of the home that includes its heating and cooling system, windows, insulation levels, and the flow of air into and out of the house. Based on these reviews, the contractors will offer solutions for fixing comfort problems and addressing high energy bills. They may also undertake the needed renovations.
This integrated, comprehensive approach is based on industry best practices. Once the home improvements are completed, the contractor’s work will be reviewed by the third-party sponsor to ensure a quality job. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is currently offered in 12 states with growing success (see page 2 for examples of leading programs). Under this joint initiative, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR will expand to more states. In addition, the Agencies will work to standardize protocols for contractors’ whole house audits as well as technician certification and expand quality assurance mechanisms to support the program nationally. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR will be considered as a potential model for low income housing. Benefits to Homeowners Homeowners taking advantage of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR will have a new service available to them as they consider making improvements to their homes, no matter whether they wish to address comfort issues, reduce high energy bills, or remodel. This new service is identified by the distinctive ENERGY STAR label—the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.
It provides homeowners access to home professionals who:
- Are trained and qualified to apply industry best practices in diagnosing home energy issues and identifying home energy efficiency opportunities,
- Can perform the work that homeowners decide to undertake or recommend other certified contractors,
- Can provide access to easy-to-use financing in some cases, and
- Will have the work quality verified by an independent third party. NEAR-TERM MILESTONES
- The 12 active states or metropolitan areas in 2005 are New York, Wisconsin, California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Austin (TX), Atlanta (GA), Idaho, New Jersey, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Vermont
- Quality assurance mechanisms to be developed for organizations interested in fielding their own home contractors in 2006
- Support for the Building Performance Institute in developing technician certification standards nationally
- Testing Home Performance with ENERGY STAR as a delivery model for affordable housing
With this new service, homeowners can have fewer winter drafts and cooler, more comfortable rooms during summer heat waves while saving money on their energy bills. Contractors and homeowners in the current program report total energy savings of 25 percent to 50 percent. PARTNERSHIPS FOR HOME ENERGY