This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 19, 2011

City of New Orleans Launches Home Energy Efficiency Program

DOE applauded on October 3 the launch of the City of New Orleans' NOLA Wise, one of DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood projects. The $1.7 million initiative, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will allow participants to increase the comfort, safety, and affordability of their homes through energy-saving home improvements. Through DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, 41 projects are bringing state and local governments and partnering organizations together to provide high quality, accessible, and affordable energy improvements to homes and businesses across the nation to reduce energy use and save families money on their energy bills.

NOLA Wise, managed by the environmental nonprofit Global Green USA, helps homeowners through every step of the energy efficiency improvement process. Through the NOLA Wise program, New Orleans homeowners can learn about energy efficiency, gain access to home energy assessors and nationally certified green building contractors, and qualify for low-interest loans to make energy-efficient home upgrades. NOLA Wise also provides a project management service to ensure that homeowners receive professional and thorough home energy assessments and high-quality work from approved contractors. NOLA Wise expects to expand its market from residential clients to commercial properties in its second year.

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is part of the Better Buildings Initiative within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program will leverage an estimated $3 billion in additional resources over the next three years after getting $500 million in DOE funding. The program aims to save consumers about $65 million annually on energy bills.

Better Buildings' community partnerships support growth in the energy efficiency upgrade market by implementing innovative approaches to deliver energy improvements, bringing real solutions to market, and defining sustainable business models. The lessons learned from Better Buildings programs will be shared as promising approaches for improving the delivery of comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade programs that communities and administrators across the nation can adopt and implement. See the DOE press release and Better Buildings Web page.