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Resources

The following tools and resources have been useful to DOE programs and partners as they build and maintain their residential energy efficiency programs.

Home Energy Pros Online Community

Residential Network members have access to an invitation-only online community of professionals through the Residential Network Group on Home Energy Pros. On this site you can find:

  • Peer Exchange Call schedule and summaries
  • Discussion opportunities with energy efficiency programs and partners
  • Resources and documents for energy efficiency programs and partners

To connect to the Residential Network Group on Home Energy Pros, Residential Network members should:

  1. Sign up for Home Energy Pros, if you have not already. You will be notified within two days after joining.
  2. After signing up, click to join the Better Buildings Residential Network Group.

If you have any questions about signing up, email the Residential Network.

Better Buildings Network View

The Better Buildings Network View has been published since January 2014 as the official information source from the Residential Network, focused on trends and opportunities for residential energy efficiency upgrade programs.

Current Issue
Past Issues

To subscribe to the Better Buildings Network View, please email your name and organization to bbresidentialnetwork@ee.doe.gov.

Guide for Program Benchmarking

DOE has been developing a Guide for Benchmarking Residential Energy Efficiency Program Progress to make program progress benchmarking more common among residential energy efficiency programs. Work on the guide started more than a year ago with input from Residential Network members and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Sponsors. The guide is intended to help residential program managers:

  • Identify metrics that measure their goals
  • Develop a program benchmarking plan to identify their program's strengths and weaknesses
  • Measure progress for years to come by establishing a baseline of performance
  • Gain insights from comparing to peers
  • Communicate success with key stakeholders

Residential Network members are invited to review the draft guide and submit comments to dale.hoffmeyer@ee.doe.gov by December 31, 2014.

Solution Center

The Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center  is a robust online collection of nearly 1,000 examples, strategies, and resources from Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Sponsors, and others. This one-stop shop helps residential energy upgrade program administrators and partners plan, implement, manage, and evaluate their programs more effectively through a series of handbooks containing step-by-step guidance and lessons learned.

The Solution Center provides:

  • Tips for success
  • Examples
  • Tools and templates
  • My Favorites tagging capabilities
  • Email updates for new content
  • Opportunities to see your materials featured

To ensure the Solution Center remains a valuable resource for programs and home performance professionals into the future, DOE invites users to explore the new tool and suggest additional content or materials for possible inclusion by emailing BBRPSolutionCenter@ee.doe.gov.

Tools

VOLUNTARY INITIATIVE: PARTNERSHIPS TOOLKIT

The Partnerships Toolkit was developed as the first Residential Network Voluntary Initiative, which provides a forum for members to join together to address a common need or opportunity for energy efficiency programs. The toolkit contains resources to help energy efficiency organizations engage in partnerships that leverage resources and strengthen their programs.

LESSONS LEARNED: PEER EXCHANGE CALLS

The Residential Network hosts a series of Peer Exchange Calls for members to discuss similar needs and challenges, and to collectively identify effective strategies and useful resources. Following is a sample of lessons learned shared by members during various Peer Exchange Calls:

Cost-Effectiveness Tool (Beta Version)

In February 2014, DOE’s Better Buildings Residential Program released the beta version of a user-friendly tool that estimates the cost-effectiveness of a residential energy efficiency program based on a program administrator’s inputs. Public utility commissions, and therefore utilities, use cost-effectiveness tests as one screen for determining funding decisions. Program designers, policy makers, utilities, architects, and engineers might also find the tool useful for refining, enhancing, or supporting residential energy efficiency programs. Following are the tool and its supporting documents:

Publications

The Residential Network plans to develop case studies and other publications that show our members’ commitments to accelerating the pace of home energy upgrades. Stay tuned!

Additional Resources

DOE Residential Programs
  • Better Buildings Neighborhood Program
    More than 40 Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners launched local programs to test a wide range of program delivery business models in their communities. These partners helped more than 100,000 households and businesses save energy, live more comfortably, and reduce their utility bills through energy upgrades between summer 2010 and December 2013.
  • Home Energy Score
    Similar to a vehicle's mile-per-gallon rating, the Home Energy Score allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to other homes nationwide. It also provides homeowners with suggestions for improving their homes' efficiency.
  • Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES)
    Offering whole-house solutions to high energy bills and homes with comfort problems, HPwES is managed by a local sponsor that recruits home improvement contractors who are qualified to perform comprehensive home assessments.
  • Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office
    This office strategically coordinates with state, local, tribal, and K-12 school district leaders to accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and best practices. These partnerships help American communities, businesses, and industries overcome barriers to a viable clean energy economy.

Events