The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with counties, utilities, and non-profit organizations across the country to test and evaluate the Home Energy Score from November 2010 through mid-2011. Through these pilots, DOE and its partners can test a wide range of issues associated with the Home Energy Score, including but not limited to:
- Homeowner response
- Home energy assessor training and reaction to the scoring tool
- Quality assurance methods
- Climatic adjustments of the scoring tool
The pilots are located in varied climates, represent most U.S. regions, and include both urban and rural communities. DOE and its partners plan to test the Home Energy Score through a variety of efforts including new and existing home assessment programs, comprehensive energy retrofit programs, and a public information campaign linked to a home tour. Based on findings from the pilots, DOE will refine the program and launch the Home Energy Score nationally in late 2011.
DOE has already selected the following testing locations for the first phase of the program, but please contact us if your region would like to participate in the future.
If you are interested in participating in one of these pilots, please contact the regional representative listed below in your area.
Note: DOE and its pilot partners are still working out specific details of each pilot's design. The descriptions below are subject to change as the programs are implemented and additional information and data are collected.
Allegheny County, PA
Efficiency PA will add a new aspect to its popular annual home tours in Allegheny County by showcasing energy efficiency projects using the Home Energy Score. They plan to score a minimum of 12 homes by June 2011 and will feature them as part of the Allegheny County Green Innovation Festival in 2011. The Festival will provide an opportunity for a high-visibility marketing campaign. Efficiency PA plans to assess how the Home Energy Score motivates consumers to do home energy upgrades.
Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, MA
Cape Light Compact, an intergovernmental organization, is made up of the 21 towns on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, MA, and serves 200,000 energy customers. The organization works with energy improvement contractors to better serve homeowners and encourage consumers to get home energy upgrades. Cape Light Compact offers home energy assessments as part of the Mass Save® program. Cape Light Compact plans to score between 100 and 200 homes by June 2011.
Chicago area, IL
Center for Neighborhood Technology
CNT Energy, a division of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, will generate the Home Energy Score for 200 Chicago homes audited between February and June 2011. The participating homeowners will be eligible for air sealing and attic insulation rebates, and they will also receive low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) installed at time of audit. CNT Energy will also provide quality control to ensure that the energy improvements were installed properly and follow up with homeowners to verify customer satisfaction.
Greater Charlottesville area, VA
The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) recently launched a residential energy efficiency program with support from DOE to conduct 400 home energy assessments and energy improvements. LEAP will use the Home Energy Score to encourage residents of the City of Charlottesville and the five surrounding counties (Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, Fluvanna, and Louisa) to score their homes and enroll in its home energy improvement program. Residents whose homes score poorly on the Home Energy Score would benefit from LEAP's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, which provides homeowners with incentives, financing, pre-qualified contractors, and quality assurance to do energy improvements. In addition, residents interested in highlighting the efficiency of their homes may want to get a home energy assessment and receive a score prior to putting their homes on the market. LEAP plans to use the energy data collected through the Home Energy Score testing period to inform its program development, marketing, and contractor training and to better understand the region's building stock and needs.
As part of their existing residential weatherization programs, Hoosier Energy plans to score approximately 100 homes by June 2011. The utility's programs include ongoing home energy assessments and they plan to layer the Home Energy Score into their projects. Hoosier Energy uses advanced diagnostic and modeling software to identify the most cost-effective measures to install in a home while modeling the effect on energy usage after the measures are installed.
The Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) is a non-profit organization that promotes the responsible use of natural and economic resources. As one of its services, CEE provides home energy assessments for existing homes. They will provide the Home Energy Score as an additional service for a portion of these energy assessments. They plan to collect additional information used in other home energy modeling tools to compare results from the Home Energy Scoring Tool and other tools. In addition, CEE will assess how a blower door test affects scores in a cold-weather climate. CEE plans to score approximately 200 homes by June 2011. Note: CEE has already identified their test homes and is not accepting new applications for Home Energy Scores.
Portland area, OR
The Energy Trust of Oregon helps residential, business and public/nonprofit utility ratepayers use less energy, save on energy costs, and move to renewable energy sources. Under their existing "Home Energy Solutions" program, the Energy Trust is currently conducting 400-500 free checklist home energy reviews per month. For the Home Energy Score, Energy Trust will select 200 program participants to receive DOE's Home Energy Score, as well as another label under review, the Energy Performance Score (EPS). The Energy Trust plans to use findings from the Home Energy Score pilot phase to help inform the organization's launch of a home score and label program for all existing homes in the greater Portland area in 2011. The Energy Trust plans to score a minimum of 200 homes by June 2011. Note: The organization has already identified their test homes and is not accepting new applications for Home Energy Scores.
Director of Energy Programs
Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.
121 Greystone Blvd.
Columbia, SC 29210
South Carolina's rural electric cooperatives have a long-term goal to weatherize an unprecedented 225,000 homes statewide by 2021—or one-third of the homes served by the state's co-ops. They plan to test various energy assessment metrics by layering the Home Energy Score on top of other existing tools and financing mechanisms. USDA Rural Development is also partnering with DOE and the South Carolina electric co-ops to further encourage rural consumers to invest in improving the energy efficiency of their homes. The South Carolina co-ops plan to create a database with contractor information, ratings and energy assessments, as well as inputs for energy savings, cost savings and returns on investment. South Carolina plans to score 200 homes by June 2011.
United Cooperative Services, a rural utility serving North Texas, currently has a home energy audit program that will complete nearly 2,000 home energy assessments in 2010. To meet this growing demand, United is updating its residential energy assessment program. While completing an additional 2,000 home energy assessments in 2011, United plans to score more than 250 homes using the DOE Home Energy Score tool.