Residential Building Audits and Retrofits (Text Version)
September 1, 2010
ICF International: Casey Murphy
Hello everyone, welcome to the DOE Technical Assistance webinar on Residential Building Audits and Retrofits. I am Casey Murphy with ICF International.
So what is the technical assistance program? DOE's Technical Assistance Program (TAP) supports state, local and tribal officials implementing the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) and the State Energy Program (SEP). TAP offers tools and resource needed to implement successful and sustainable clean energy programs.
The goal of these resources is to provide SEP and EECBG recipients with resources needed to swiftly implement successful and sustainable clean energy programs. And the specific objectives are to provide proactive assistance, technical expertise, best practices, network expansion, and policy and program development in order to accelerate grantee's implementation, improve program and project performance, increase the return on Recovery Act investments, increase the sustainability of Recovery Act investments, and build protracted capacity at the state, local, and tribal level.
TAP offers EECBG and SEP recipients' one-on-one assistance, an extensive online resource library with best practices, templates, webinar recordings such as this one, a project map, events calendar, and a blog. It is to facilitate as well a peer exchange of best practices and lessons learned. And the topics include energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, program design and implementation, financing, performance contracting, and state and local financing.
And so there are a lot of resources available to you. You can explore online resources at the Resource Center. You can also submit a request via the Technical Assistance Center. And you can call the 1-800 number listed on this slides. For this particular webinar I will give you my contact information and you can call me if you have any question on this subject matter which is buildings and retrofits.
Today's objectives are really to have a greater understanding of the local, regional, and national efforts to promote energy efficiency in residential buildings. I wanted to take a step back and look at the overall programmatic framework that exists in multiple areas in the United States. And hopefully help the people that are on the call to understand the different resources that are available to them if they want to leverage their programs. And also make it in alignment with how the industry is evolving to the extent that we know how and how quickly the industry is evolving over time. And also to have a greater understanding of the specific programmatic elements of residential building audit and retrofit programs, and how those may align with your other programs. Finally, it's to learn about some additional resources in addition to the DOE resources we just went over, that you can access to address residential retrofit issues and concerns.
What's outside of the scope of the today's webinar is really to address or answer specific programmatic issues about anyone of your individual energy programs. If you do have specific questions, you can contact your local regional coordinators or you can certainly contact me at my phone number or email address which I will give you at the end of the presentation.
Also, just as a reminder, this is a webinar on addressing existing residential homes. So although some of the concepts do overlap, we are not going to specifically address new homes or commercial building audits or retrofits. Nor are we going to delve into renewable energy strategies or programs, or not really answering any specific guidance on designing your programs.
And so the agenda is basically as followsâ€¦ I am going to tell you a little bit about my background, and also tell you about the assumptions that I am making about who is listening to the webinar. Then I want to try and create the context for an existing home program by taking a look from a national perspective the importance of residential sector energy use, the history of addressing energy efficiency in that sector, and how the environment has changed since 2008 with the passing of the stimulus act. Then we will look into some of the programmatic needs, frameworks and strategies that have developed over time to address energy efficiency in the residential sector. Finally, we will go over some examples and some specific resources that you can have access to find more information on the topic that we cover today.
So a little bit about myself, I actually owned a framing and remodeling company for about 15 years. A lot of that was as a traditional trade contractor who understood my own scope of work but not necessarily the other trades in the industry, with whom I worked, but did not really understand how what they did affected what I did and vice versa. After about five years I started to become a little bit more educated about building science. I became a participating contractor in Maryland's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. So that included expanding my knowledge to other areas of the building that I had not previously understood. And I went on that learning curve to understand how to do diagnostic tests in a home, a blower door combustion safety testing. And as a participant in the program I became BPI certified, a building analyst, and an envelope professional. And I also become a HERS rater at that time. Eventually, I moved away from working at my own company. I started working at ICF International where I have worked with utility programs to help design and implement their energy efficiency programs. And I am currently supporting two EPA programs, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, and Indoor airPLUS.
So I have some assumptions about who the audience members are and also what stage you are in designing your programs. And based upon those assumptions I am going to focus on some areas more than others in the webinar. I am assuming that most audience members are grantees, and that they have the residential design mostly finalized, and that you have been working with consultants as needed to create that design of your particular program. But, I am assuming also that there are a wide variety of programs that are represented by people listening to the webinar. Some of you may have audit only programs, so that might include providing a HERS score to a homeowner. Some of you may have something less comprehensive than that. Maybe survey or clipboard audits, where someone spends maybe an hour or two in the home, and does not necessarily do diagnostic tests. Or you might have some other types of audit only programs out there. I am also assuming that some of you have a financing program only. That could be a PACE financing option or some other unsecured loan product that can help homeowners to purchase a comprehensive package of improvements to increase the energy efficiency of their home. Some of you may also have some incentives for single measures, or a mix of different incentive levels. Those may or may not be identified by a professional entering into the home, perhaps that's something that homeowners can select of their own choosing without getting an audit upfront. So again, I am assuming that there are a variety of proposed and different initiatives for those individuals who are listening.
One of the things that I also don't want to assume is that we all have the same end goal for implementing this program. We see that even within the context of the EECBG grant, it is fundamentally job spill to promote economic growth, but of course it is also trying to promote energy efficiency and sometimes the two of those can work at odds together, and sometimes not. But it is certainly two distinct metrics that we are looking at to design a program to meet our needs. But there are a variety of other needs out there as well, and society at large is looking to promote energy efficiency for a multitude of reasons. There are of course localized sources of pollution that we can reduce through energy efficiency, we can alleviate congestion in our transmission line, there's geopolitical ramifications, trying to reduce our dependency on foreign sources for oil. Of course, climate change is a significant factor for many people when they talk about promoting energy efficiency programs. Then you just have general economic instability, where even the high cost of energy can end up being good when it's stable and people can make proper changes to adjust for that; but when we have wild fluctuations in the price that really does destabilize our economy. As we are looking to design a program, and as we are looking to interact with other people who are trying to promote energy efficiency, looking to leverage those funds and create a harmonized product for homeowners to act upon, we really have to take in these other valued propositions that programs may be looking for, and understand that maybe our program goals of energy efficiency and job creation, may not be the same as an ally of ours, in order to promote our programs, but nevertheless, hopefully we can find areas of cooperation so that we can meet our distinct goals.
Just on the programmatic level we have a variety of these different metrics for success. Contractors and homeowners have even more value propositions. So oftentimes we'll design an energy efficiency program, we'll really be focused on trying to decrease the number of kilowatt hours and therms that a homeowner would have to purchase, lower their energy bill. But oftentimes, homeowners may have many other non-energy benefits that they are looking for. Especially if they are going to invest 5, 6, 7, thousand dollars on a comprehensive package of several different measures, and so we also have to understand that we can't just look at this through the lens of energy efficiency. Oftentimes homeowners and contractors do have different reasons why they want to participate. And certainly when we message the program to homeowners it should be much more about comfort or health and indoor air quality or the buildings durability, and we will get into some of those issues below.
Taking a step back and just taking a look at how important the residential sector is. We can basically do an energy audit of the nation, to try and figure out if as a nation we want reduce our energy use, where exactly can we do it? So we begin with an energy audit to see where we are using that. You can see from the pie chart that the residential sector counts for about 1/5 of all energy use. And there was a recent study that came out by the Mackenzie Group. They indicated that actually, many of the big opportunities are in that residential sector. That we have increased energy efficiency in the commercial, industrial, and transportation areas, there's lots of room for improvement in those sectors. But really the residential end user is the largest untapped source of energy efficiency opportunities. So it's certainly a good area in which to promote energy efficiency to try to meet our goals.
We can take a look into where we are using the residential energy use. This is basically a disaggregation of a typical home. About half of the home goes to heating and cooling, of course those vary by climate zone. And the other half is in base load, so things like refrigerator, lighting, and other appliances. Phantom loads come in to play as well when you leave devices plugged in. If you are trying to address the energy efficiency of a building study, you can take a look at this and begin to target strategies to address each one of these individual sectors.
One of the ways you can do that is through standards. You basically just mandate, make sure refrigerators are this and this, and make that code. Unfortunately if you go through that strategy, it does raise the bar for everyone, but it does not create that incentive to go above and beyond that. So that is where a program like ENERGY STAR can come into play. With a voluntary program that rewards those project manufacturers that want to create more energy efficiency products. And what it does is really address a market imperfection, where without some sort of brand like this, you might have manufacturers that want to build more energy efficient products, but they are afraid to invest in improving their products because if they try to sell them in the market place, customers may not necessarily believe that their claims are true. And on the flip side, customers don't necessarily believe the claims of many manufacturers, because manufacturers will oftentimes claim a variety of benefits and consumers may be skeptical of that. So if they see a brand that is reliable and they can trust, that allows the customers to make informed purchasing decisions, and it allows manufacturers to invest, knowing that customers will be able to know the better product does meet a certain standard of performance. That is kind of a voluntary program approach that works hand and hand with the codes that can bring up the baseline.
So when we take a look at that pie chart, this is one approach, to target each one of those individual wedges to try to make each one of those more energy efficient. But, we have learned that these different components don't work necessarily in a vacuum. They work together. So we can't simply say that a house is energy efficient because it is just the sum of these individual parts. What we have learned in building science, is that of course, all these different parts interact. Therefore, in order to really address a home, you have to address and understand where energy and moisture flows are occurring and come up with a strategy to tackle that. So oftentimes that is putting a home in energy modeling software, putting down all of the houses characteristics, and being able to calculate how that energy use can be reduced over time. So that is certainly where a program like ENERGY STAR new homes or builders challenge how they can tackle that in the new built environment.
We know that the existing housing stock is quite significant and it's a housing stock that is more difficult to address, but it's still critical that we as a society do address it. According to DOE in the year 2030, about 70% of the housing stock in 2030 will have already been built today. So even if we build every new home from net zero from this point moving forward, we are still going to have a tremendous amount of energy use in the housing sector, unless we come up with a strategy to address that sector.
One of the things before delving into some of the more specifics is just to define some terminology and existing practices. The term weatherization and I may use this term in using both of these definitions. Some people when they refer to weatherization, they refer specifically to the DOE Program, the Weatherization Assistance Program. So that's a reference to that programmatic approach. Other people refer to it as a scope of work that can be performed in a house, as distinct from mechanical systems improvements or replacement. For example, we will have programs out there that say, "We weatherize homes," and what they mean is that they seal and insulate that home. But it's for market rate people, while other people when they say weatherization, they have low income people on their mind who just qualify for DOE's program. So I just wanted to mention that. Whenever you are talking with stakeholders, you might want to recognize that you may be using two different definitions. Another source of confusion is audits versus retrofits, which is used in a variety of different ways by different people. The audits are the delivery of information, the baseline assessment. Retrofits are of course the installation of those improvements, but, other people use the term audit, or survey, assessment, or clipboard audit. It's really all over the board so anytime you engage with a different program you really have to delve into the specifics of using the same terms of the program. Even when it comes to the term auditor or the status of the auditor, so programs might have that person be a completely separate third party, other times contractors can be the auditor as well. Again, it's kind of a confusing environment because these terms aren't well defined and they are used in many different ways by different individuals.
One of the things that we can look at when we look at how we can address the existing house marketplace is the existing practices and whether or not they are sufficient or not to meet the goals of our programs. I have included a couple of slides of the type of issues we have to address, and as we are trying to design a program we have to keep these in mind, because they really will influence how we engage the contractors and auditors, and what sort of things a program has to do to support the successful delivery of properly installed energy retrofits. These are two slides that show a common practice for installing insulation. Both of these look like fairly newer homes, yet on the left hand side you see that there's exposed sheet rock. So obviously this is a building contractor that thinks they are doing a great job but they are skipping a very important scope of work. So that can lead to comfort issues, and of course energy loss, on the right hand side, the same sort of thing. There is no air barrier over that insulation. They probably don't know; it's probably not specked out in that particular house to even put an air barrier. And there are gaps in that insulation; it looks a little compressed, so these are examples of some of the things that are installed in a new home by existing trades, if they are not educated in how the proper installation of these products affects the performance of the products.
So the next successions of slides are slides that I took when I was a home performance contractor. So one of the things that programs might do is, they'll go, well we are going to deliver audits and that's going to be a third party, and then we can go ahead and hand off that information to the homeowner and they can contact an existing trade to install those measures. Again, these are some examples of what the installation trade may be installing. So maybe they see on the report that they want to install R-49 installation. Again, if they are not familiar with what they are looking for in that audit, they can end up installing measures incompletely or incorrectly. On the right hand side you can see there is some missing insulation and that's the black spot on that angled ceiling on the right hand.
Another design consideration is, are you having a clipboard audit, where people just walk through the house? Do you have diagnostic testing? If you do go up in the attic are you simply measuring the insulation, or are you going in there and really poking your head around? So this is an example of something that is very easy to skip. This is a chaise. You can see kind of look down into there, where there's sheet rock. So that is on the second floor, and that opening was covered by the insulation. So if you go up into the attic and you look around, you see all the insulation is nice and even, and fluffy, and it looks good. But this is an area you could end up missing if you don't do some diagnostic tests and see that the house is very leaky, and then you start to delve into these types of areas and try to identify that. Or literally going up in the attic poking your head around, lifting up the insulationâ€¦ You certainly identify these on the second floor as well, you say, "well this is a chaise; let me look up in the attic at this particular area." If you do not address this, you end up investing a decent amount of money on a retrofit of the home, and yet you don't have a big impact on increasing the energy efficiency of it.
This is another picture and this is the type of thing of design consideration, what type of diagnostic are you going to require? Is it going to be just a blower door? Do you want to do an infrared camera? This particular home on the left-hand side of this devisable picture, you can't really tell the insulation is installed in that cathedral ceiling. Then on the right-hand side you can see that there are areas where the insulation wasn't installed correctly. So that certainly informs your auditor, what recommendations he or she may want to recommend to the homeowner.
This is another example, so programs may incentivize insulation, but many not necessarily incentive air sealing. This is a job where the homeowner mentioned she had installed this insulation a couple of years ago. Her comfort did increase, but she did not have as comfortable a home as she wanted. So I went to the house and poked my head in the attic and saw that the insulation looked pretty good. But, I also looked underneath the rafters, and I saw mold growing underneath the rafters. So this is an example of a home that was insulated but not air sealed. So what happens in the wintertime, moist warm air from inside the house is able to escape through holes in the ceiling and passes right through the insulation. It ends up going to the underside of the deck and forming condensation. Before the insulation was installed, this problem did not occur. Basically, she was losing enough energy and enough heat so that the underside of that roof was warm enough that condensation would not occur. So she had two problems there, well one problem, the problem was the energy loss. Now, she has addressed the energy loss to some extent but now she has created a new problem. And this can create durability issues, not necessarily an indoor air quality issue, as this air is probably unlikely to go into the house, but you do not know.
Even if you do recommend or require air sealing, you have an issue of specifically, how do you address those air sealing issues? How do you quantify that? Do you require a blower door test valve? These are three pictures of the small detailed areas that contractors have to be educated about. They have to have training to identify these opportunities. You certainly have recess cans; I think many people are familiar with the fact that those release some of the small holes where there are wire concentrations. One of the less well known areas is the top plate, where the sheet rock meets the top plate. So on the left hand side, you can see you are basically looking down at the top plate of a second floor wall and you have the sheet rock on both sides. Over time, that wood is going to shrink a little bit and it's going to create a little bit of opening in between the sheet rock and the top two by four. Which doesn't seem significant, but if you add up all the linear feet of all the walls in the second floor, it actually ends up being a pretty big hole. So installation contractors should understand that they need to go in, figure out where these walls are, and properly seal that in order to impact the blower door reading, and impact the energy usage on the home.
Even if you have good air sealing and insulation built into your programs design, there is one other thing that I think that all programs should consider. So, this is an example of a home I went out to. It had a lot of good opportunities. You can see where a lot of the insulation is blackened. That's an indication that airflow is going through the insulation and the insulation is basically acting as a filter in catching the contaminant that are in the air. So clearly this house is a good candidate for air sealing.
But there is one programmatic design issue, where I was required to do combustion safety testing on the home as part of the audit process. So what that entails is something called a combustion appliance zone test, you do a draft test, I also had a combustion analyzer. So on the side, I had to form these tests on the combustion equipment and check for spills and things of that sort. And during that part, I discovered there were 1200 parts per million of carbon monoxide being produced by this furnace. Some sort of problem there, and incomplete flame burn, whatever it happened to be. But then, during my inspection of the home, I also saw on the right hand side that the flute pipe was disconnected. So what we have basically is 1200 part per million of carbon monoxide going into the attic of this persons home. And the house is leaky; the way that the building is basically operating right now it did not necessarily seem like it was a health risk. But if I had gone into the house and air sealed it, we don't know how that could have impacted this, and whether that carbon monoxide could have been entered into the home and affected the health and safety of the homeowner. So again, requiring combustion safety testing on the front end is a design consideration and one that I would recommend that every program requires before affecting the building shell.
So those are some of the design considerations when it comes to the actual scope of work inside the home. The other is how you market the program and how you deliver the program to homeowners. And certainly one approach that I've heard about is doing a neighborhood sweep free, where you go ahead and really get a contractor or contractors into a multiple of homes in a neighborhood. Get a contract for economies of scale. Taking a look at this slide you can see that it certainly seems like there is that opportunity, but it is not necessarily as straight forward as you might think. You have 100 homes here, or however many there happens to be, they are close together, and all about the same age. Just because they are close together, you can end up lowering transaction costs on the contractor's part. You take a look closer, and these aren't really 50 - 100 homes. There are really 5 homes replicated a 20 times. So there are 4 or 5 different building models, and that really seems to make things easier. There you have about 4 or 5 different scopes of work that you can offer to all of these homeowners. Again, it makes the process a lot easier where you don't necessarily need a complete audit of every single home. You do about 5 audits and replicate that throughout all the homes. Unfortunately, what we have learned, at least with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, is that each one of these is very much a custom home. And that's for a couple of different reasons, first the actual house itself has changed over time, people use it differently, maybe some put additions in, people take care of it better than others, and so there are going to be different building science related issues. But, much more important than that is really that each homeowner, to the extent that they are being asked to invest their money in this improvement, they are going to have much different value propositions for why they would want to pay for that improvement. For some people it might be reducing energy bills, more often than not we found that it's not energy related but it's more comfort related or durability related, or some particular problem that's occurring in the home, that the homeowner wants to address. The energy savings is actually an insularly value, its how they pay for that improvement. So you can actually sell that improvement as it's already paid for itself in a year or two. But it's not really the primarily decision factor that they make when they are investing in this improvement, in general, but each customer is going to be a little bit different.
So we can ask these three questions again, as you are designing your program or to the extent that you can still redesign certain aspects of your program. Do you just want to offer surveys? Or do you want to require specific diagnostics? Or do you want to require the infrared camera in order to detect the areas in the building shell that you cannot see otherwise? Do you want to require combustion safety testing? What kind of contractors do you want to come in after the audit? Do they need additional training, and how much training? And then, how do we verify and report quality jobs - for the homeowner's sake and for the programs sake?
Another way to approach this is to really take a look at all of our programs through the prism of three different buckets. They will oftentimes call it a three-legged stool, where if you have two of these legs you can have a program that can kind of wobble, but you really need three legs in order to have a stable program. So that is building up the supply of auditors and contractors, who can deliver this, building up demand for these services for the homeowners, and then having the programmatic framework to be able to properly manage these two components and provide quality assurance and quality control.
Looking a little bit deeper into each one of these legs, for the supply, a lot of that is identifying, recruiting, training, certifying, and mentoring participants. One of the considerations is what are the training standards and defining qualifications for program participation? Are there certifications that we want to require, a HERS rater, a BPI envelope professionalâ€¦whatever it happens to be? And then, part of building up the supply is selling the value to them. So it's enabling companies to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and giving them to the tools and resources to be profitable. So you have to help them sell their message against, window companies that are just selling 50% energy savings for switching out windows. And if they can't differentiate themselves in the marketplace, then they are not going to be able to successfully deliver these energy retrofits.
So the other component is building up the demand in homeowners. I think of building up demand in three different categories. One is educating homeowners about their energy use, about the program, the processâ€¦setting up a website, trying to advertise a program through a variety of different marketing channels, radios, billboard, or community events. That is certainly a critical component. Some programs offer an online energy assessment for use that homeowners can begin to take a look at where they are using their energy. And then there are two other types that address the financial burdens. One is trying to decrease the initial cost of entry for the homeowner to participate. That is either buying down the audit, or lowering the total cost of the home improvements via rebates. And the other is enabling homeowners to finance cost-effective solutions. Even if you can reduce the cost of a $10,000 audit to an $8,000 audit through incentives, you still have to have the $8,000 to invest to these improvements. So that is where the PACE program comes into play, but it is important to recognize that is just one leg of demand. And demand in itself is only one component of building up the supply and also of having a quality program delivered to homeowners.
The last component is building up the quality delivery system. Providing the tools and trainings for contractors to do good work, program designers have to decide on software, if they are even going to use it, and if they are what are the requirements of that software? And also, all of the various forms and processes that work for the participants in that program, and also important to have a strong trust but verify the work that is actually being done in the home. That certainly leads to a number of design considerations, one is how the contractors or the auditor test out, and secondly how the program verifies those test out results.
One programmatic approach that is implemented throughout the country is Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. They define it as "contractors participating in a locally sponsored program can help you cost-effectively improve your home's energy efficiency. These specially-trained contractors evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment and recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results." In these programs, there are a certain set of requirements. Among them are, a building scientist has to be the one that is doing the assessment. Generally, that's a BPI certified building specialist, it can be a HERS Rater. The HERS rater is also trained in combustion safety testing, because combustion safety testing is one of the required elements as well. Then it's really facilitating the delivery of these improvements and testing out. Then its having the program provide quality assurance on top of that work. Currently the program is being run by forty different sponsors or partners in these different areas - and certainly all of you on the phone, if you haven't already and I assume most of you already have, spoken with these sponsors. But it's important to recognize, they have their own population of specially trained contractors, they have their own software and process to evaluate a home, and they have their own test out protocols as well. So to the point that you don't want to duplicate efforts, you should certainly have a conversation with them, if you haven't already, to minimize overlap or just contradictory standards or protocols.
One of the reasons while we are here is through the efforts of the federal government, since 2008. In October of 2009, Vice President Biden's middle class task force came out with the Recovery through Retrofit document, and they identified three different market barriers in order to address the existing home residential marketplace. Consumers need reliable home retrofitting information, the costs of the retrofits need to be addressed, and we need to increase the number of skilled workers that can install these improvements.
So if you take a look at those three market barriers and you cross block it with some of the programmatic elements that we were just discussing, you can see that there is somewhat alignment between both of those. If you have a strong program, with strong QA/QC, that has good software, another mechanism to evaluate a home, you are providing homeowners with access to straightforward and reliable information. And certainly part of that demand creation is trying to help homeowners lower initial cost and also to finance the remaining portion of that cost. And access to skilled workforce is building up that supply of contractors that can really do two different things, one is to evaluate the home, and the second is to actually install the improvements successfully in the home. And of course that first person can also test out as well.
After the report came out, that's when the EECBG funding announcement came out. To fundamentally and permanently transform energy markets, and really come up with a variety of energy programs to test what concepts work, what concepts don't work, so that it can be replicated. So really, the EECBG grantees and the competitive block grantees are trying to resolve some of these issues, which is why we are on the phone today.
But then there are also additional federal efforts that might be coming down the pipe, one a piece of legislation, Recovery for Energy and Environmental Performance, that came out over a year ago and is really taking a look at changing how we can incentivize energy efficiency measures or retrofits on a federal level. This is a performance based tax incentive. Instead of just having, like we do now the $15,000,000 federal tax credit for technology, and not really having any assurance that the technology is appropriate for that individual homeowner, or that energy use will be reduced, this will be a performance based approach.
That legislation and the language in that legislation were integrated into Home Star. Home Star passed the House and the Senate, on the slide it says here, may consider in September. That may or may not come to pass. But it did have a tiered performance level, or two different levels I should say. One is more prescriptive, the other is performance based, and it could have a financing component. And the QA/QC is similar to Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. So what that generally means is after a job is completed and tested out by the auditor, the contractor, the qualified individual.those test results, the blower door or the combustion safety testâ€¦ 100% of it is reported to the program and there is a series of field checks as well, so that after the home is reported, the program will go in with their own third party verifier and put up the blower door and do combustion safety testing, and verify that the results that the contractor has reported, are in fact accurate.
So we can take a look at some of the different Home Performance with Energy Star programs and the different programmatic elements. I don't really want to get into the specific details of each of the programs, what I do want to emphasize is that these Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsors have all addressed these three buckets, creating demand, creating supply with contractors, and providing quality assurance and quality control over the program. So what we have are forty different programs that address many of the design considerations that everyone on the phone may have, and they are a very good resource in order to reach out to. And if they are serving your particular market, you can certainly cooperate or maybe relay on their quality assurance and quality control, or rely on their contractor qualifications so you don't have to try to reinvent the wheel in your market place.
Utah Home Performance is one example of a program that was recently launched. The previous slide listed NYCERDA, which has been around for over 10 years and actually predates the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. Utah Home Performance is actually a new program and they just are getting started right now. One thing I do want to note is at least for single family homes where homeowners are paying for these improvements, we don't recommend free audits. That creates a lot of audits, and not necessarily any work gets done. So Utah Home Performance does buy down the cost of the audit, and there is a $100 entry point. But homeowners are still putting that money down; they have some engagement in staying in the game, and hopefully some end goal of investing a lot more to make the energy efficiency improvements in their home.
In California we have a variety of stakeholders. To the extent that the EECBG funds are supposed to be leveraged and sustainable over a period of time, we have to figure out how can we design a program that is going to outlast the EECBG funds and that works in harmony with all these different programs.
California has a huge amount of money going into the Utility sector, so they are creating a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR framework that addresses their individual territories.
So what we have seen is that there are a lot of different HERA funds also going into that market place and some of you on the call might be stakeholders in this environment. So it can be complicated to figure out, where are there gaps in the utility program that we can plug into and provide value? And where are there established programmatic elements in the utility program that we don't have to replicate. Trying to resolve that issue is the challenge of the industry. It's certainly not something we can go into in a webinar; it's really something you have to delve into the specifics of the program and talk to those individuals to figure out where there are opportunities to leverage both of those programs.
What we have seen on the national level, is two different emerging models. One is a utility centric model, where you can have a bunch of different utilities operating in a state and there is a lot of overlap in the service territory. They are the ones that control the programmatic elements. But they are also trying to create harmony in the contractor certifications and how the program is messaged to homeowners. There are some advantages to that model, to the extent that the utilities have a close relationship with their customers. They actually have that data of energy use. They have sophisticated marketing channels that are already established and have been used for decades. On the other hand we also have some statewide centric approaches. Where there is one program that covers the entire state. The utilities can still participate in that they can offer incentives for their customers, but they are really relying upon the state run program to train the contractors, to offer financing, and to otherwise provide some quality assurance to the program.
So I hope that gives you a little bit of background to some of the different approaches, some of the different design considerations. I do want to refer you again to some of the additional resources. We talked about the resources from DOE and the Solution Center at the beginning of the webinar. There are also resources on the national Home Performance with Energy Star program.
So if you go to this website, and specifically go to the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR section, there is an area to develop your program. On the right hand side, you can see that there is an introduction to Home Performance fact sheet. For those on the call, I think the sponsor guide is a little more helpful. It's a 51-page document that really goes into all of these different areas of building up demand and creating enough supply. It has a number of different sample forms that you can end up duplicating or replicating for you program. You can also find contact information for each sponsor on this website at the partner locator if you want to reach out to local sponsors in your area, and that's what's listed here on the partner locator. And you can certainly contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can try to assist you as well.
And certainly, depending upon your program, may consider becoming a sponsor of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. There are other resources as well, the building performance institute and RESNET; they both list their respected certified individuals, BPIs, Building Analysts, or their accredited companies, and RESNET, their HERS Raters. They also have a bunch of good information on standards, on protocols, a variety of issues that can better help you implement your program.
Some other resources include, the Home Performance Resource Center. They have a series of best practice committees at Efficiency First, case studies analyzing successful programs, and workforce development recommendations. I certainly recommend you go there and get some of that information.
Looking back at today's objectives I hope I was able to give you a better understanding of the local, regional, and national efforts to promote energy efficiency. And give you a greater understanding of some of the programmatic elements you may want to consider or have considered when designing your program. And give you a couple additional resources that you can access after today.
I want to thank you very much and this is my contact information, Casey Murphy, at ICF International. Feel free to give me a phone call, or send me an email, and I can address any additional questions you may have. Lastly, these are some additional resources. This PowerPoint will be on the DOE website, so you can access these resources when you take a look at that PowerPoint.
And certainly give us your feedback, you can go to surveymonkey.com. We would love to learn what other information I could have provided, and how we can make these more informative and productive for all of you. Again, thank you very much and have a nice day.