U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Building Technologies Office

Improving the Energy Efficiency of Residential Buildings

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) collaborates with the residential building industry to improve the energy efficiency of both new and existing homes. By developing, demonstrating, and deploying cost-effective solutions, BTO strives to reduce energy consumption across the residential building sector by at least 50%.

Research and Development

  • Conduct research that focuses on engineering solutions to design, test, and build or upgrade homes through Building America.

  • Produce Climate-Specific Handbooks for residential builders to illustrate industry best practices.

Market Stimulation

  • Use a whole building approach for home upgrades through ENERGY STAR®.

  • Support energy efficiency upgrade markets by providing grants to states, local governments, and organizations in communities through the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.

  • Expand the community of energy efficiency programs and partners through the Better Buildings Residential Network.

  • Provide resources that promote high-quality work and ensure a qualified workforce with our Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals.

  • Evaluate home energy performance through Home Energy Score.

  • Encourage college students to develop innovative home designs through the U.S Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

  • Students also have the opportunity to participate in the U.S. DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition. There are currently 13 teams signed up for the competition, representing more than 230 students. The deadline for enrollment in the competition is December 16, 2013, with design entries due on March 30, 2014.

  • Promote the use of energy efficient technologies and methods by builders through the DOE Challenge Home program.

Building Codes and Equipment Standards