Huntsville Celebrates Launch of Home Energy Upgrade Program with Energy Department Support

November 16, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday recognized the launch of the Huntsville WISE Gold Program, one of DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood projects, at a Home Energy "Block Party" in Huntsville, Alabama. The event, hosted by the non-profit organization Nexus Energies, showcased how the program will help homeowners in northern Alabama reduce energy costs and increase the comfort of their homes through energy-saving home upgrades such as improved insulation, windows, and doors, as well as energy-efficient appliances. The Huntsville WISE Gold Program is one of the more than 40 Better Buildings Neighborhood projects nationwide that are bringing the public and private sectors together to provide American homes and businesses with high-quality and accessible energy improvements that save money and create new jobs.

"This program encourages Huntsville homeowners to reduce their utility bills by improving the energy efficiency of their homes," said Secretary Chu. "Across the U.S., programs like the WISE Gold Program are increasing the demand for energy-saving products and services, creating jobs, and helping families to reduce energy waste and save money."

The Block Party event featured a presentation on the Huntsville WISE Gold Program and an explanation of energy assessments and opportunities for home energy improvements. The event, attended by a select group of homeowners, also included remarks from Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and featured a blower door demonstration, which helps pinpoint air leaks in a home.

The Huntsville WISE Gold Program provides a comprehensive suite of resources for homeowners looking to save money on their energy bills and make their homes more comfortable. The program educates homeowners on potential home energy savings and provides opportunities for them to receive an energy assessment to identify which particular home upgrades would most effectively reduce their energy costs. Homeowners who implement efficiency measures that produce energy savings of 20% receive rebates of $350 for the initial energy assessment and up to $400 in additional rebates.

The Huntsville WISE Gold Program is part of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, which receives funding from DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program and the State Energy Program.

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is part of the Better Buildings Initiative—a program within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy that is lowering barriers to improving building efficiency nationwide. Funded with more than $500 million from DOE through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program will leverage an estimated $3 billion in additional resources over the next three years. The program expects to save consumers about $65 million every year on energy bills.

Better Buildings community partnerships support growth in the energy efficiency upgrade market by implementing innovative approaches to deliver energy improvements, bringing real solutions to market, and developing sustainable business models. The lessons learned from Better Buildings programs will be shared as promising approaches for improving the delivery of comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade programs that can be adopted and implemented by communities and administrators across the nation.

To learn more about how DOE's Better Buildings program is changing lives by changing buildings, visit the Better Buildings website.

To learn more about DOE's Recovery Act investments, please visit DOE's Recovery Act website.