WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that its Better Buildings Neighborhood Program has helped more than 40 state and local governments upgrade more than 100,000 buildings and save families and businesses over $730 million on utility bills. Supported by the Recovery Act, the program worked with 41 competitively selected state and local governments and their partners to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes and buildings and leverage early federal funds to launch sustainable community-based programs.
“In the United States, residential and commercial buildings account for about 40 percent of all energy use,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Upgrading the energy efficiency of our homes and other buildings will save families and businesses money on utility bills and reduce pollution in our communities, moving the nation closer to our clean energy future.”
Over the last four years, the selected state and local governments have partnered with utilities, nonprofit organizations, financial institutions, and building efficiency experts to carry out the upgrades of more than 100,000 homes and other buildings. The initial $508 million federal investment leveraged another $1 billion in other public and private sector funding and supported more than $740 million in direct invoices to local workers for the energy assessments and upgrades they performed. Local direct investments and savings are expected to continue to grow as leveraged funds are used to finance future energy efficiency project upgrades.
All in all, more than 1,400 contractors completed upgrades for homeowners. Approximately 30 of the original programs are continuing without federal support, including programs in Florida, Maine, Oregon, and Virginia.
To support continued public-private partnerships on residential energy efficiency, the DOE has launched the Better Buildings Residential Network, which currently includes 70 organizations. The network provides technical assistance and facilitates peer sharing for a range of stakeholders, including contractors, financial institutions, nonprofits, state and local governments, and utilities, who share best practices on home energy efficiency program strategies. Membership is open to all organizations interested in expanding the market for residential energy efficiency.
For more information, visit www.energy.gov/better-buildings.
Publication date: 6/2/2014