For most American households, a 5-30% savings on energy bills is possible by making home energy upgrades typically identified in a home energy assessment. State and local governments, utilities, and nonprofits across the nation offer programs that allow home owners to upgrade their home to reduce energy use. Through the Better Buildings Home Upgrade Program Accelerator, DOE is working with partners that offer these programs to help increase the number of services offered to homes across the country while minimizing costs associated with managing and operating home upgrade programs.
Accelerator partners Arizona Public Service (APS), an electric utility, and FSL Home Energy Solutions, a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program sponsor, have successfully demonstrated that more customers can be served, while decreasing the cost of program management by improving two key areas:
- Contractor satisfaction & support – Participating contractors are required to submit paperwork demonstrating that they successfully completed a home upgrade. To make this task easier on contractors, APS and FSL allowed contractors to choose the energy assessment software that worked best for their businesses. To create a seamless data collection and transfer process from individual contractors and their various software to the program’s IT platform, the program leveraged industry standards BPI-2200 and 2100 - the home performance extensible mark-up language (HPXML) data dictionary and data transfer standards.
- Quality of energy upgrades – To reduce variability in contractor work quality, APS and FSL turned to the Standard Work Specifications, developed by DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. These specifications define the minimum acceptable outcomes for any weatherization or home performance task to be effective, durable, and safe. Building on these standards, the program streamlined technical field guidance on individual upgrade improvements for contractors and for the program’s quality assurance process.
By using these two industry standards, Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR improved their program for contractors and customers, while also improving their cost-effectiveness and freeing up resources to allocate elsewhere.
Read this case study for more on how the Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program’s lowered administrative labor costs for quality assurance by 50% while increasing contractor satisfaction with the program by 50%. Click here for more information if you are interested in joining the Home Upgrade Program Accelerator.