WASHINGTON - As part of a joint federal initiative to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $1 million grant to the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Inc.

With funding also provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the grant is intended to advance the development of a national infrastructure of certified technicians and accredited contractors to deliver whole-house energy efficiency improvements. As a result, homeowners will have greater access to professionals who can improve home comfort and energy performance, says the EPA. The grant assists in the implementation of the Partnership for the Advancement of Technology in Housing's Road Map for improving the energy efficiency of existing homes.

According to the EPA, BPI Inc., located in Malta, N.Y., has several years of experience with technician certification and contractor accreditation in the state of New York. BPI also has a long-standing relationship with the low-income Weatherization Assistance Program in several states to certify qualified technicians.

This grant to BPI will enable it to expand its efforts in technician testing, set additional standards for whole-house diagnostics for heating and cooling systems and the building envelope, and enhance its quality assurance requirements. BPI will review its current standards with a nationally recognized group of building science experts and increase capacity by developing its affiliate network, says the EPA.

Publication date: 10/18/2004