WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a major partnership designed to streamline and coordinate federal home weatherization efforts.

DOE and HUD have created a high-level interagency task force to leverage roughly $16 billion in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur growth in the home energy efficiency industry in the United States. HUD’s funding includes $4.5 billion to renovate and upgrade public and tribal housing and $250 million for energy retrofits of privately owned, federally assisted housing, while DOE’s funding includes $5 billion for weatherization assistance; $3.2 billion for new block grants that states and local governments can use to retrofit homes; $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program; and more.

The new interagency task force will coordinate the expenditure of the new funds in local communities and will develop guidelines and specifications for retrofitting public housing and privately owned, federally subsidized rental properties. The task force will also evaluate home energy disclosure and audit standards and develop new financing tools for home energy efficiency efforts. In addition, the task force will lead a government-wide effort to develop a common baseline for measuring home energy use and documenting gains from energy efficiency improvements.

Publication date: 03/30/2009