Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes - Technology Roadmap
Volume 2: Strategies Defined
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October 2003, 52 pages
This publication presents a vision for the housing industry that includes improving the energy performance of existing homes and decreasing energy use by an average of 30% in at least 50 million existing homes by 2010. The publication gives an overview of the energy use situation today, describes the barriers to increasing energy efficiency, and offers a roadmap to achieving PATH's vision of improved energy efficiency.
Several barriers exist in terms of achieving increased energy efficiency in existing homes. Lack of consumer awareness about the long-term cost benefits of energy efficiency, limited desire to make improvements because of stable energy prices, and an absence of tax credits, rebates, or other incentive programs are among the primary barriers. In addition, home remodelers and trade contractors tend not to advocate for new energy efficiency technologies due to a limited amount of time to devote to education and a preference to stay in their "comfort zones". Coupled with limited availability of information on energy-efficient products and systems, this also creates a formidable barrier to increased energy efficiency in existing homes. Additionally, there is a perceived barrier to the development of retrofit technologies and products, as well as wide differences in the condition and configuration of the existing housing stock that prevents broadly applicable, one-size-fits-all retrofit solutions. Lastly, there is a lack of national-level distribution capabilities for marketing and delivery of some of the more promising energy-efficient solutions.
The publication presents a technology roadmap to accomplish the vision of increased energy efficiency. The authors propose that there must be successful implementation of eight key strategies:
- Enable Practitioners to Deliver Energy-Efficient Solutions
-- Provide home repair and remodeling professionals with the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to guide homeowners to energy-efficient solutions and to efficiently and effectively implement these solutions.
- Increase the Value Consumers Associate with Energy Efficiency
-- Deliver a consistent, coordinated outreach message to homeowners on the value of energy-efficient improvements. Coordinate the message among federal, state, and local government agencies, utilities, manufacturers, distributors, remodelers, and trade contractors.
- Improve Retrofit Building Envelope Performance Technologies
-- Provide a continual flow of emerging and new technologies that will increase the thermal protection of the conditioned spaces of existing homes, resulting in decreased energy consumption and lower operating costs.
- Develop a Single Industry Protocol for Practitioners
-- Develop a single protocol--a process and methodology--for analyzing the energy efficiency of existing homes and helping homeowners combine sound energy-efficient decisions with other remodeling and renovation projects.
- Motivate Practitioners to Deliver Energy-Efficient Solutions
-- Help remodelers and trade contractors understand the economic and social benefits of delivering energy-efficient solutions to their customers.
- Build Credibility for Service Providers
-- Establish the credibility of remodelers and trade contractors by implementing a strong, effective certification program that includes training, testing, and periodic review.
- Provide Consumer Incentives for Implementation
-- Create a need, desire, and/or incentive for consumers to implement energy-efficient solutions.
- Develop a Performance Monitoring System for Energy-Consuming Equipment
-- Develop a system that gives homeowners the information they need to understand and manage their energy-consuming equipment in real time and in a consistent and easy-to-interpret form.
Content updated on 3/24/2006