Better Buildings Home Energy Score: Newsroom

Aug 20, 2018

Energy Department Brings Energy Training and Peer Event to Cleveland to Expand Progress in Resilient Energy and Water Management in Federal Facilities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hosting the Energy Exchange and Better Buildings Summit, the largest DOE training, trade show, and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing event of the year, in Cleveland, Ohio, from August 21–23, 2018. Co-sponsored by DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program and Better Buildings Initiative, the event is an annual, collaborative forum between the federal government, industry, and state and local stakeholders within the building, energy, water, and transportation communities. Thought leaders will convene to work toward accelerating the adoption of energy and water efficiency, integrated resilience, emerging and secure technologies, and replicable renewable energy solutions.

This year’s event features more than 200 technical training sessions and serves as DOE’s most dynamic opportunity to share best practices, provide technical information and tools, and offer accredited training to federal facility and energy managers. DOE will recognize innovative private sector partners and federal leaders at the FEDS Spotlight and Better Buildings Challenge Partner Recognition sessions and will provide on-site technical expertise alongside experts from the national laboratories at the Ask-an-Expert Lounge.

The Opening Plenary begins at 8:30am Tuesday, August 21, and features speakers from FEMP, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). On Tuesday afternoon, attendees can participate in Showcase Building Tours. Better Buildings partners and other Cleveland-area organizations are opening their doors to share the insights and experiences behind their energy and water-efficient properties and the strategies that help them achieve their goals. Tour groups will meet in Grand Ballroom C at the Huntington Convention Center by 2:00pm to check in, sign a waiver, and be guided to their destination. A limited number of walk-on spaces will be available; these are first-come, first-serve. 

Wednesday features Better Buildings Sector Meet-ups, Keynote speakers - including the Mayor of Cleveland, Chairman of the Ohio PUC, and C-suite executives from Legrand and Cleveland Clinic - the Resilience Roundtable and Buildings and the Grid roundtable discussions, and a reception for all attendees from 5:30 - 7:30pm. Throughout the conference Tuesday-Thursday, technical experts from the National Labs, FEMP, and more will be staffing the Ask-an-Expert Lounge outside the Energy Exchange Trade Show. View the full schedule here

May 10, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the progress made by more than 900 public and private-sector organizations that are driving energy efficiency in the U.S. economy through their participation in the Better Buildings Initiative. This includes 380 trillion Btus, or $3.1 billion in reported cumulative energy and cost savings from the set of market leaders that have stepped up to the Better Buildings Challenge. Moreover, partners across the Better Buildings Initiative are sharing their innovative approaches and successful strategies to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices. The 2018 Better Buildings Progress Report released today highlights this progress in the commercial, industrial, residential and public sectors to improve energy productivity.   

"Partners in the Better Buildings Initiative are achieving impressive energy savings worthy of celebration," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. "Partners are meeting their savings goals, testing the latest technologies, and sharing their results. Together, they are showcasing a new generation of energy saving solutions."

The Better Buildings Initiative has grown to encompass more than 900 organizations, which represents 30 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13% of total commercial building space, as well as 28 states and close to 100 cities and counties across the nation. 

May 16, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the energy-efficiency progress made by the 345 leading public and private sector organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge. These efforts have led to a combined 240 trillion Btus and an estimated $1.9 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings. These results are summarized in the 2017 Better Buildings Progress Report released today that highlights accomplishments across the broader Better Buildings Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by focusing on overcoming market barriers and sharing partner-created solutions.

Jul 19, 2016

As part of the Obama Administration's Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released best practice guidelines for Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. PACE is an innovative mechanism for financing energy efficiency, solar, and related improvements. DOE's updated best practices guidelines will enable more states and communities to adopt and implement residential PACE programs, unlocking access to affordable financing to reduce homeowners' energy bills, achieve more resilient homes and communities, and create jobs. DOE will also provide technical assistance to make it easier for states and communities to stand up effective PACE programs.

The updated guidelines also incorporate advancements in DOE residential energy efficiency analytical tools and resources, such as the DOE Home Energy Score and Standard Work Specifications, and step-by-step program guidance available through the Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center. These tools and resources can be used by PACE program administrators and participants to plan, develop and implement programs that effectively deliver home energy upgrades to participating households in their jurisdictions.

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Aug 24, 2015

Under the new HUD and DOE Home Energy Score partnership, in areas where the Home Energy Score is available, single family households will be able to increase their access to financing tools to make energy efficiency improvements. DOE’s Home Energy Score offers a “miles per gallon” type rating to estimate a home’s energy use on a 10-point scale. A “1” corresponds to the least energy efficient homes and a “10” corresponds to the most energy efficient homes, while the average U.S. home will score a “5.” Through this new partnership, homebuyers or homeowners who want to obtain an FHA-insured purchase or refinance mortgage for a single family home that receives a Home Energy Score of 6 or higher will be eligible to increase their income qualifying ratio by 2 percentage points above the standard Single Family FHA limit, making it easier to secure financing to make these improvements.

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May 28, 2015

To further advance energy efficiency in buildings across the country, the Department of Energy is moving into the residential sector by launching two new Better Buildings Accelerators that will help American families improve the efficiency of their homes. The two new accelerators announced today are aimed at making home energy information more accessible to potential homebuyers and improving and expanding home upgrade programs that help Americans save money on their energy bills. With new accelerators announced today, the Department is working to build on the success of the Better Buildings Challenge, cutting energy waste and moving the United States closer to a clean energy future.

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Feb 05, 2015

Today, DOE announced the release of the Home Energy Score Simulation Training, a new online simulation tool that provides free, targeted training and testing to individuals interested in providing the Home Energy Score – a standard energy efficiency assessment and score generated only by qualifying professionals. The Home Energy Score Simulation Training (the Sim), developed by Interplay Learning, lets candidates walk through different virtual homes (colonial, ranch, and townhome) with numerous combinations of energy-related characteristics (e.g., heating, cooling, hot water equipment; wall construction; insulation levels; footprints).

With this enhanced training and testing available, the program will now recognize a wide range of credentials, including those held by home inspectors, HVAC contractors, and other professionals in building-related fields. The table below lists the minimum credentials now accepted by DOE.

Jan 09, 2014

Through the Home Energy Scoring Tool, more than 8,500 homes have been scored by the Energy Department's growing network of more than 25 partners and 175 qualified assessors. After more than a year of implementation and feedback from program partners, the Energy Department made significant improvements to the scoring tool's calculation methodology and user interface. To inspire greater investments in energy efficiency, the tool also provides more detailed and cost-effective recommendations to help consumers further improve their home's energy efficiency.

The updated tool is more sensitive to local climate—collecting data from more than 1,000 weather stations nationwide compared to the 250 stations used previously. The Energy Department, through LBNL, is working with third-party software companies to license the Home Energy Score application programming interface (API) to build apps and other online resources that exchange data with the tool.

Nov 09, 2010

Vice President Biden joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today to announce the launch of the Home Energy Score pilot program. The Home Energy Score will offer homeowners straightforward, reliable information about their homes' energy efficiency.  A report provides consumers with a home energy score between 1 and 10, and shows them how their home compares to others in their region. The report also includes customized, cost-effective recommendations that will help to reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort of their homes.

"The initiatives announced today are putting the Recovery Through Retrofit report's recommendations into action - giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades." said Vice President Biden. "Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy."

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