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About Residential

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) collaborates with home builders, energy professionals, state and local governments, utilities, product manufacturers, educators, and researchers to improve the energy efficiency of both new and existing homes. The Building Technologies Office’s Multi-Year Program Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2020 provides a roadmap of our strategies and goals for significantly reducing building energy use intensity. 

Residential Sector Activities Include:

Benefits and Results

RBI’s programs have been helping the American people save energy and money through building energy efficiency programs for years. Since 1995, the Building America program, which conducts innovative housing research on energy efficiency to benefit the residential building industry and the public, has helped American households save up to $54 billion and avoid 500 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The Residential Building Integration’s programs are continuing innovative and collaborative opportunities to improve the comfort, durability, and indoor air quality of American homes, all while saving energy costs and reducing emissions.

  • Since 2012, nearly 8,000 homes across the United States have met the energy efficiency criteria of DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home (formerly Builder’s Challenge) initiative. Homes that meet the Zero Energy Ready Home criteria are approximately 40% more energy efficient than a typical new home built to code.
  • The Better Buildings Residential Network is a national membership network connecting energy efficiency programs and partners to share best practices to increase the number of energy-efficient homes. The BBRN has grown to 243 members who reported over 32,000 energy upgrades in 2014.
  • Over 550,000 homes have been retrofitted under the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program since its inception, with upgraded homes achieving 25% reductions in energy use intensity.
  • The Building America Research Program has led to numerous innovations and cost reductions in technology that make programs like EPA's ENERGY STAR and DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home affordable and ready for market adoption.