Energy Department Announces New Case Studies, Business Models to Support Energy Efficiency Upgrade Programs

July 10, 2012

As part of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above strategy to reduce energy costs for consumers and American businesses, the Energy Department today released a new suite of resources supporting the design and implementation of energy efficiency upgrade programs. Developed through the Department's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, these new resources include six case studies, a business model guide, and a video, all of which leverage the experiences and knowledge of participating partners in testing new program models while upgrading more than 20,000 homes. These tools will help communities across the country replicate successful energy efficiency programs—creating new jobs and business opportunities and saving consumers money on their utility bills.

Three of the new Better Buildings Neighborhood Program case studies announced today profile the successes and lessons learned in workforce and small business development efforts in Maine, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, which are training American workers for jobs as energy efficiency professionals. Three additional case studies provide details on how Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners are leveraging incentives in Maine, Michigan, and Oregon to increase the demand for and availability of energy efficiency upgrades for homes. By providing practical information to help boost the participation of homeowners, engage local partner organizations, expand job training opportunities, and reduce cost barriers, these case studies show how Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners are creating sustainable business models and impactful programs to help residents live more comfortably and save money.

Additionally, The Better Buildings Business Models Guide is now available to assist Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners, energy efficiency program administrators, and building contractors deploy successful local energy efficiency initiatives. The guide offers multiple approaches for expanding the range of energy efficiency services available, carrying out effective business strategies, and developing partnerships to deliver home energy upgrades to consumers.

The Energy Department also announced a new video today, Strengthening the Workforce in Better Buildings Neighborhoods, a three-minute piece that captures how Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners are training and expanding their local contractor workforce.

All of these new resources were presented today at the Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions: From Innovation to Market Transformation conference in Arlington, Virginia. The event gathers together hundreds of residential energy efficiency program experts and administrators, including state and local governments, utilities, non-governmental organizations, Better Buildings Neighborhood Program grant recipients, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Sponsors, and Home Energy Score Partners. These stakeholders are coming together for the first time to share and learn promising approaches for driving demand, improving financing, engaging business partners, creating sustainable business models, and developing strategies for transforming the residential energy efficiency market.

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is a part of the Obama Administration's Better Buildings Initiative led by the Energy Department. The program is working to make it easier for home and business owners to access energy efficiency experts and complete building upgrades while supporting a growing energy improvement workforce. Through over 40 competitively selected projects, the Better Buildings Neighborhood program has helped state and local governments across the country launch sustainable energy efficiency programs that have helped upgrade more than 20,000 homes and over 1,200 businesses. These activities have put more than 1,500 energy efficiency professionals to work making homes and businesses more efficient.

The Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.