U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office – About
The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program for a Better Future (Text Version)
Below is a text version of "The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program for a Better Future" video.
"We are creating change in our community."
"We are creating jobs."
"We're making our homes more energy efficient."
"We're using less energy."
"We're making energy efficiency easy."
[GRAPHIC – Improving neighborhoods … making energy improvements easy … saving money … making homes more comfortable … creating jobs … strengthening communities]
President Obama: Making our buildings more energy-efficient is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways to save money, combat pollution and create jobs right here in the United States of America. [Applause and cheering] And that's what we're going to do.
[GRAPHIC – Homes and commercial buildings use 40% of our nation's energy]
Gil Sperling, U.S. DOE: Nationwide, it's a couple hundred billion dollars that are wasted every year by businesses and homeowners in terms of energy leaking through windows and through cracks and not enough insulation. We have to address existing buildings; we have to transform the built environment.
Cynthia Adams, Program Manager, Charlottesville, Virginia: We all need power. That's not going to change. So I think helping business owners, helping homeowners make their structures more efficient is really to their advantage for a number of different reasons, long-term reasons as well as short-term reasons.
[GRAPHIC – Innovative Trailblazers … test new models]
Gil Sperling, U.S. DOE: It takes the local community to actually pull together a model, to pull together the private sector businesses, to pull together the banks, to pull together the elected officials and the sustainability programs in order to reach out to consumers and create trust. What the private sector wants to know is that, one, we're going to have the right volume of demand that will justify the investment, justify hiring employees that we're going to be able to keep busy over time.
Gil Sperling, U.S. DOE: We put out a solicitation, a request for proposals to cities and counties and states and we challenged them. We said create a program that will do whole blocks and whole neighborhoods at a time. That's very different than anything we've done in the energy field. We have not had that type of partnership and working together to create a brand new industry. And that's what this is intended to do.
Cynthia Adams, Program Manager, Charlottesville, Virginia: It takes effort; it takes face time, because right now the knowledge just isn't out there. We get into the community; we do a lot of presentations.
Susie Strife, Program Manager, Boulder, Colorado: We have to be very innovative in driving demand for the program. We are out there on the street, social mobilizing community groups and networks to get them to spread the word themselves. We want energy efficiency to be the social norm. We want it to be cool. We want to change the way people are thinking about energy in their home.
[GRAPHIC – Simplifying the process with breakthrough programs]
Laura Fiori, Home Energy Professional: Everybody wants to make changes, but nobody knows where to begin, so this is the key for that. The changes seem confusing, they seem expensive, and what I can do to help is just explain the situation as clearly as I can, help them understand, take them around and show them what's happening.
Joshua Farris, Energy Professional: No home is the same; structures are different on every block in all construction. So you need somebody to be able to think outside of the box and use their professionalism to create your home to make it more efficient.
Laura Fiori, Home Energy Professional: As an energy professional, we receive specialized training in exactly what to look for in a home. To spot the ways that a home is losing energy and also to prioritize them. And I think that this gives the people confidence to go forward and make the changes.
Rebecca Cardwell, UVA Credit Union: The credit union offers both a secured and an unsecured loan option. We're extending terms and, of course, having a lower rate, because we want people that take advantage of these to see a higher return on investment. We also talk about the wide variety of tax credits and rebates that are available within our communities. By overcoming the financial barriers, more people will adopt energy efficiency upgrades within their home. The more people start to undergo projects and talk to their neighbors about the benefits it just starts to make a sustained momentum within this industry.
[GRAPHIC – Creating cutting-edge jobs boosts the economy]
Laura Fiori, Home Energy Professional: Offering energy efficiency upgrades to homes like this I think is going to revolutionize the construction industry. Already in our area it's putting people back to work.
Kenny DeBauche, Commercial Energy Advisor: This program is creating jobs. It's created my job. It's created some of my colleagues' jobs; and hopefully it's helping businesses maintain those jobs that they already have.
Cynthia Adams, Program Manager, Charlottesville, Virginia: Energy efficiency is one of the biggest wins that there is. It creates jobs. It spurs economic development. It makes our homes, our biggest investments, more comfortable for us to be in. It improves our indoor air quality; it lowers our bills. It does so many different things.
Gil Sperling, U.S. DOE: We're making people's homes better, more comfortable, more livable, and cheaper to operate. We're making businesses save money and have improved comfort. And it's a better building. It's an improved value.
[GRAPHIC – The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is a part of a national Better Buildings Initiative lead by the U.S. Department of Energy.]
[GRAPHIC – www.betterbuildings.energy.gov/neighborhoods]