Energy Department Releases Case Studies and Best Practices to Assist Innovative Energy Efficiency Programs

November 28, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced new case studies and other online resources available to local governments that are designing, expanding, and enabling residential energy efficiency programs across the country. Developed using real-world results from DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, these case studies and step-by-step guides outline a framework for successful energy efficiency upgrade programs to help homeowners, businesses, and whole neighborhoods save money by saving energy. They are now available on the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program's website. Each partner in the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is also highlighted on a profile page describing the business models they're using to make energy efficiency a part of their local economy.

Because homes and commercial buildings account for 40% of U.S. energy use and $300 billion in energy bills, efforts by energy efficiency programs nationwide have significant potential to lower U.S. energy use and create jobs. DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners are leading the way, using innovative approaches to test business models, providing concrete examples of models that work, and identifying real market solutions to help catalyze a building upgrade industry that can be sustained in the private sector.

Developed from the promising approaches of the 41 program partners, the new online resources guide home and building owners, building contractors, and energy efficiency program administrators in designing, implementing, and marketing a comprehensive energy-efficiency upgrade program. The guidance details the partners' experiences in key program areas such as supporting financing mechanisms for home and building upgrades, developing a trained workforce to install energy efficient products, and generating demand for the energy upgrades available through their programs.

For a quick snapshot on the overall Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, a new video illustrates the many benefits and opportunities for helping homeowners and businesses save money and energy through building upgrades around the country.

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is part of the Better Buildings Initiative—a program within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy that is making homes and commercial buildings across the country more efficient. Funded with approximately $500 million from DOE through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program will leverage an estimated $3 billion in additional resources over three years. The program aims to save consumers about $65 million annually on their energy bills.

To learn more about how the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative is changing lives by changing buildings, visit the Better Buildings website.

Join the clean energy conversation on Facebook at DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Energy Savers pages.