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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Actions to Build a Strong Home Energy Retrofit Market

At a Middle Class Task Force event today, Vice President Biden announced a series of federal actions designed to lay the groundwork for a strong, self-sustaining home energy efficiency retrofit industry. These actions include a new Home Energy Score program that will help homeowners make cost-effective decisions about home energy improvements and a new retrofit financing program called PowerSaver. The Vice President was joined by Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ); Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy (DOE); Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor (DOL); and Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“The initiatives announced today are putting the Recovery Through Retrofit report’s recommendations into action – giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades,” said Vice President Biden. “Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy.”
DOE has developed a voluntary new Home Energy Score program that will help homeowners make cost-effective decisions about home energy improvements. Trained and certified contractors will be able to use a newly developed energy software tool to generate  a Home Energy Score between 1 and 10, which will be presented as part of a simple graphic that will help homeowners understand their home’s current efficiency level and how it compares to other homes in the area, and will provide an estimate of how much money could be saved by making energy retrofits.

DOE will launch the Home Energy Score this Fall through a pilot program in select regions across the country before making the voluntary program available everywhere. For those pilots in rural areas, USDA Rural Development will partner with DOE and rural electric cooperatives to increase participation and improve home energy efficiency in rural America. To see a sample Home Energy Score, click here.
Other initiatives include Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades, and Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades.
The Small Business Association will offer a new online course, Green Business Opportunities: A Small Business Guide, that will provide training for entrepreneurs who are looking to enter the home energy retrofit market.  The course provides free business counseling and information for those seeking to launch a new business or expand an existing business in the energy efficiency market.  This training opportunity is free and available on SBA Office of Entrepreneurship Education’s website  
More information is available on the above initiatives by clicking here.

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