You are here

Energy Efficiency Upgrades Help Build Better Neighborhoods

May 6, 2013 - 4:55pm

Addthis

In neighborhoods all across the country, the Energy Department's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is helping families and business owners make energy efficiency upgrades that are saving them money and improving the comfort of our buildings. | Photo by Ed Hancock, NREL.

In neighborhoods all across the country, the Energy Department's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is helping families and business owners make energy efficiency upgrades that are saving them money and improving the comfort of our buildings. | Photo by Ed Hancock, NREL.

In hundreds of communities all across the country, the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is spurring an energy efficiency transformation. Working with states, counties and cities, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is helping American families and business owners make energy efficiency upgrades that are saving them money and improving the efficiency of our nation’s buildings.

Created in 2010, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program awarded $508 million in one-time grants to more than 40 state and local governments to create self-sustaining energy efficiency programs -- ensuring that the building upgrade industry will be able to support the demand for energy efficiency improvements long after the initial grants run out. By collaborating with local nonprofits, financial institutions, building efficiency experts and utilities, these programs are making it easier for consumers to access skilled energy efficiency professionals and obtain affordable loans for upgrades.

From neighborhood sweeps and energy advisors to on-bill loan payment and communitywide competitions, Better Buildings Neighborhood partners are showing real progress in increasing the comfort of our homes, lowering the operating costs for businesses and creating local job growth. In a little over two years, they have helped Americans improve the energy efficiency of more than 47,000 homes and 60 million square feet of commercial space -- achieving 15-20 percent in energy savings or more with every upgrade. These improvements are saving homeowners and businesses more than $41.2 million in annual energy costs while generating thousands of local energy efficiency jobs.

As Better Buildings partners continue to make energy efficiency more accessible to homeowners and businesses, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is developing new ways to support the local programs. Most recently, the program announced the Better Buildings Residential Network -- a peer sharing network that makes it easier for communities learn from each other’s successes. By sharing best practices on things like workforce development and financing options, local efficiency programs can dramatically increase the number of American homes that are energy efficient.

These energy efficiency upgrades are making a real difference for Americans all over the country. The next few days, we will be sharing stories of families and businesses that are saving energy and money thanks to efficiency upgrades. Be sure to check back on Energy.gov to hear stories about real people who are benefiting from energy efficiency improvements through the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.

Addthis