U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
About Residential Building Programs
The Building Technologies Office (BTO) collaborates with home builders, energy professionals, state and local governments, utilities, product manufacturers, educators, and researchers to improve the energy efficiency of both new and existing homes. Our residential sector activities include:
Benefits and Results
Improving energy efficiency not only benefits the homeowner, but the entire nation. If just one of every 10 U.S. homes cut their energy use by 25%, Americans could save over $5 billion per year on their energy bills and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 225 million cars off the road. Additionally, homeowners find energy efficient homes to be more comfortable because less air leakage and more insulation help minimize drafts and temperature variation.
Since 2008, nearly 15,000 homes across the United States have achieved the energy efficiency criteria of DOE's Builders Challenge initiative. Homes that meet the Builders Challenge are approximately 30% more energy efficient than a typical new home built to code.
The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is testing new business models for community-scale energy efficiency upgrades with more than 40 competitively-selected state and local governments.
Over 300,000 homes have been retrofitted under the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program since its inception, with estimated savings ranging from 15% to 30% for homeowners.
The Building America Research Program has led to numerous innovations and cost reductions in technology that make programs like EPA's ENERGY STAR, and DOE's Challenge Home affordable and ready for market adoption.
The biennial Solar Decathlon has become the national show case for the future of housing. Its success has spread to Europe and China which will host their own solar decathlons in the coming year.