The U.S. Department of Energy has announced two new Better Buildings Accelerators, which will convene leading organisations in the building industry to focus on key solutions for expanding energy efficiency in the residential sector. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has joined the Home Energy Information Accelerator and committed to support consumer education and environmental sustainability in the U.S. residential building market.
“USGBC has been at the forefront of changing how we design, build and operate our buildings, homes and communities,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO, USGBC, “and no buildings are more important than our homes. Not only do they shelter our families and anchor our lives, for many families, it’s the single largest asset they will ever have. By designing and building new homes that are more energy efficient, and improving the energy efficiency of existing ones, we increase the value of that asset, and at the same time put money back into the pocket of the homeowner. Healthy, sustainable homes are the future, and this program will help us get there.”
The Accelerators were established as part of the Administration’s Better Buildings Initiative in 2013. Partners will focus on expanding awareness of homes’ energy efficiency and streamlining the processes used to help consumers improve the efficiency of their homes. The Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator also supports the President’s Climate Action Plan with a goal to accelerate investment in home energy efficiency improvement projects across the country.
“This partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy furthers our commitment within the residential sector to grow the LEED green building program as well as provide environmental education and guidance to homeowners on how they can make their homes more energy efficient and resource friendly,” said Taryn Holowka, senior vice president, marketing, communications & advocacy, USGBC.
As part of its commitment, USGBC is focused on the re-launch of its consumer site, Green Home Guidewhich will offer new resources to help consumers identify options and strategies they can use to reduce energy and water usage in their homes, while also continuing to work toward the popularization and wide-scale adoption of LEED for homes across the United States. Currently, there are more than 186,000 residential units participating in LEED, the world’s premier green building rating system. USGBC is also focused on educating home-owners on measures they can take to limit resource depletion and develop a more sustainable environment within their individual homes.
“By improving the efficiency of buildings across the country, Better Buildings partners are saving money by saving energy, creating more sustainable communities, and helping to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change,” said Under Secretary for Science and Energy Franklin Orr. “Expanding the program to include water savings and the residential sector means that American families can be a part of this successful partnership that cuts costs and pollution.”
The Home Energy Information Accelerator brings together leaders in real estate and energy efficiency to expand the availability and use of reliable home energy information at relevant points in residential real estate transactions. Accelerator partners will develop and demonstrate replicable, sustainable approaches that make energy-related information—such as a home’s efficiency certification or its estimated energy usage – easily available through multiple listing services and other reports.
Better Buildings Accelerators convene leaders across sectors and building types to address persistent barriers that stand in the way of greater efficiency. As Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator partners share their successes with the market, resources will be posted in the Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center. The Solution Center is an online tool designed to help organizations explore the solutions tested and proven by partners.
As a cornerstone of the President’s Climate Action Plan, Better Buildings aims to make commercial, public, industrial and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. This means saving hundreds of billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing GHG emissions and creating thousands of jobs. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency.