Washington: RePower's Energy Dashboard Spurs Change on Bainbridge Island

Project Overview
Positive Impact: Bainbridge Island community initiative works to increase energy efficiency in homes.
Locations: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Partners: Conservation Services Group
EERE Investment: $4.9 million
Clean Energy Sector: Energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturingPDF

Conservation Services Group (CSG) received $4.9 million in ARRA funding from EERE to develop RePower, a community-wide initiative to increase the energy efficiency of homes in Bainbridge Island and Bremerton, Washington, by 15% over the next three years. RePower has launched energy assessments, cash-back incentives, energy-efficiency financing, a network of skilled local contractors, and innovative marketing efforts to reach its goal of upgrading 2,000 homes and creating 65 new jobs.

Through collaboration with Positive Energy, a local island non-profit, RePower developed Island Energy Dashboards which display real-time island electricity usage throughout the community of Bainbridge. The energy dashboards are linked to Twitter feeds and provide residents with emergency updates and tips on decreasing daily energy usage. The tweets might ask islanders to shut down appliances, lights, or other electrical loads. With more information available to them, residents can begin to understand the causes of energy peaks, and also recognize how to respond and help mitigate their energy use.

Island residents are seeing results. One Bainbridge Island homeowner saw a heating bill reduction of 50%—with overall energy costs dropping 35%. During home energy check-ups and HomePrint™ Assessments, RePower energy advisors visit homeowners and visually identify areas of energy loss such as insulation, gaps, cracks, and inefficient equipment. Homeowners receive a list of custom recommendations, which includes information on no-cost and low-cost upgrades and long-term energy-saving solutions. As of April 2013, the program has completed energy improvements that have saved the island enough kilowatt hours to power more than 300 homes for a year, as well as helped create approximately 50 new green construction jobs.

The Buildings Technologies Office (BTO) leads a vast network of research and industry partners to continually develop innovative, cost-effective energy saving solutions—better products, better new homes, better ways to improve older homes, and better buildings in which we work, shop, and lead our everyday lives.

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