The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) published The Value of Adding Home Energy Score to Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs, a paper exploring the value of documenting energy efficiency improvements completed in low-income energy efficiency programs. Residential energy efficiency programs, often operated or overseen by State Energy Offices, provide benefits that help states meet energy goals: they increase energy efficiency, relieve energy burden, and improve public health. Residential energy efficiency programs designed specifically for low-income communities have the added benefit of providing services for a vulnerable population.
The paper explains that the benefits participants experience can be enhanced by obtaining an energy label, which provides additional value to participants by documenting the upgrades and improvements to their home. Labels provide several benefits to program participants and administrators: they can inform administrators on housing stock, provide consumer protection after home improvements, help homeowners make informed decisions regarding their home, motivate future home energy improvements, and help homebuyers understand the energy systems of potential new homes. Through documentation of energy efficiency status, homeowners are better prepared to describe and promote these features in real estate transactions. Labels in real estate transactions have documented benefits: studies show that homes with energy efficiency improvements sell faster and for relatively higher prices. A label can add economic value to the home.
The full paper is available here.
NASEO and the U.S. Department of Energy are interested in understanding the barriers that would prevent State Energy Offices from deploying home energy labels in conjunction with low-income energy efficiency programs. Please send your comments to Maddie Koewler at firstname.lastname@example.org.