Home energy retrofits are good investments that save families money, but consumers often do not have the straightforward information they need to decide whether to retrofit their homes and which investments make the most sense. However, exciting and important work is underway at the Department of Energy (DOE) to give consumers access to additional information about their home’s energy use and associated cost. This week, the Department issued a Request for Information from the public to help inform its work on developing a National Energy Rating Program for existing homes. This Rating Program will offer easy-to-understand and reliable information about the energy performance of an existing home that will help consumers to identify cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.
The Recovery Through Retrofit report to the Vice President in October, 2009 recommended the development of a consistent way of measuring a home’s energy performance and a clear method for conveying information to consumers. The report noted that providing clear, consistent information is critical to building the foundation for a self-sustaining home energy retrofit market that will save consumers money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create high-quality, clean energy jobs.
Since October, a team of Federal Agencies and Departments, led by DOE, has been working hard to refine methods for measuring energy performance and ways to communicate this information effectively to consumers. This Request for Information lays out the guiding principles that DOE will use to develop each part of the Rating Program. It outlines the pros and cons of different options for providing information to consumers and the initial strategy that DOE is considering.
If you would like to help figure out what type of National Energy Rating Program for existing homes is right for America, please submit comments to DOE by any of the following methods:
Comments must be received by no later than July 10, 2010.
Nancy Sutley is the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality