600,000 Homes Weatherized: DOE Meets Recovery Act Target

Thanks to the Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill), over 600,000 low-income homes – including 125,000 multi-family homes like apartment buildings – have been weatherized, three months ahead of schedule.

The program was created to increase energy efficiency in the US, save low-income families energy costs and create green jobs.

DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program has met its goal to reduce energy waste in 600,000 low-income homes with energy efficient upgrades such as insulation, air-sealing, and more efficient heating and cooling systems.

On average, the program reduces energy consumption 35%,  saving low-income families over $400 on their heating and cooling bills in the first year alone.  Nationwide, the program will save more than $320 million in energy costs in just the first year.

Other DOE initiatives to improve energy efficiency in commercial, residential and industrial buildings include:

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is working with hundreds of neighborhoods to promote energy efficiency upgrades in homes and buildings. The partners are making it easier for homes and business owners to access energy efficiency experts and complete building upgrades while supporting a growing energy improvement workforce.

With the Better Buildings Challenge, 60 major companies, universities, hospitals, retailers and cities and states are stepping up to upgrade 1.6 billion square feet of commercial and industrial space by 2020, and organizations have committed nearly $2 billion of private capital to finance energy efficient projects.

The "Home Energy Score" pilot program offers homeowners straightforward, reliable information about their homes’ energy efficiency. Under this voluntary program, trained and certified contractors use a standardized assessment tool developed by DOE to quickly evaluate a home and generate useful, actionable information for homeowners or prospective homebuyers. 

The Department of Energy is developing voluntary Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades, a comprehensive set of guidelines for workers in the residential energy efficiency industry. The guidelines help build and expand the skills of the workforce, ensuring the quality of the work performed, while laying the foundation for a more robust worker certification and training program nationwide. 

And to improve access to financing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has stepped in and launched the PowerSaver pilot program, partnering with 18 national, regional and local lenders to offer qualified borrowers low-cost loans to make energy-saving improvements to their homes. These PowerSaver loans offer homeowners up to $25,000 to make energy-efficient improvements of their choice, including the installation of insulation, duct sealing, replacement doors and windows, HVAC systems, water heaters, solar panels, and geothermal systems.

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