Hey Everyone,

It’s that time of year again!  EPA and DOE are announcing the ENERGY STAR Partners of the Year and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractors of the Year!  There was a lot of strong competition this year which made our jobs reviewing applications really inspiring!  But, it made it really hard to choose winners from all the great applicants.

This year, the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Partner Meeting in Austin, TX on April 4 kicks off the 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference.  We will be focusing on how to position the residential energy efficiency and home performance industries for a substantial share of the private investment in clean energy that is quickly approaching.  This investment is coming from large and small businesses, secondary and capital markets, venture capitalists and private citizens as well! The reason this investment is coming is because the private market is becoming much more interested in sustainability and clean energy is a major component of sustainability.  

I saw Audrey Choi, CEO of Morgan Stanley's Institute for Sustainable Investing, speak in October at the Sustainable Brands: New Metrics conference.  That conference was focused on identifying metrics that demonstrate sustainable practices and using those metrics to justify significant private investment.  Ms. Choi - and many others at the conference - conveyed how and why businesses and governments who integrate sustainability principles throughout their operations often achieve better ROIs, enjoy higher levels of employee satisfaction, and develop stronger brand reputation.  I found the TED Talk Audrey Choi gave after that conference provided a really good explanation of why businesses who focus on sustainability achieve higher profits and still do good things for our Earth.  (BTW - if you’re coming to the HPwES Partner Meeting - and you should definitely be coming to the Partner Meeting! - you should watch this TED Talk beforehand.)

The winners of this year’s ENERGY STAR Awards all demonstrated significant strides in sustainability.  Many of them took great pains to improve the overall operations of their programs and businesses to focus on efficiently delivering the results their customers wanted and expected.  These operational improvements frequently yielded better performance, happier customers, and more value for everyone.  We are very excited about this year’s winners and are going to highlight their achievements as often as possible so all our stakeholders can learn from their successes.  

Join me in congratulating the 2016 ENERGY STAR Award winners!  Together with ENERGY STAR, they are leading us toward a more sustainable future.


Congratulations to the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Award Winners!

This year, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) is awarding over 100 participating contractors and Sponsors for their extraordinary HPwES programs. An elite group of Sponsors are being awarded the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award. These Sponsors are recognized for their delivery and design of HPwES program. They excelled in promoting HPwES, growing a contractor base, and driving demand in their market.

Exceptional participating contractors are awarded with the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year Award. These contractors have successfully integrated HPwES into their business models and are leading the HPwES industry.

HPwES is also awarding the Century Club Award to participating contractors that complete over 100 projects in the calendar year. This group of 129 contractors is recognized for their ability to drive demand and close jobs in 2015. (note: HPwES changed the name of the award to match the year in which it is presented).

Please join us in congratulating all our award winners on their great successes.

ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence
These Sponsors have continuously demonstrated their excellence in delivering ENERGY STAR programs including HPwES.
Arizona Public Service
Baltimore Gas & Electric
Consumers Energy
Efficiency Vermont
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Salt River Project

ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year

These Sponsors are recognized for their exceptional delivery of HPwES.

Delmarva Energy
Entergy New Orleans
National Grid Rhode Island
The United Illuminating Company and Eversource Energy

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractor of the Year

Allied Construction
Their excellent operational efficiencies mark them as a leader in the industry

AZ Energy Efficient Home
This organization excels at customer relations and integrating health into HPwES

Energy Services Group
This company is a champion of HPwES in their community and excels in customer relations

Their excellent marketing and dedication to health mark them as a leader in the industry

This organization collaborates with partner organizations and sister industries to expand the reach of HPwES

Home Energy Matters
Their creative marketing techniques created exceptional customer relations

Learn more about these award winners at www.energystar.gov/awards. There are more detailed profiles available for each of the winners online.

2016 Century Club Awards
These contractors completed 100 or more HPwES projects in calendar year 2015. The participating contractors receiving the award are listed below by Sponsor.

Austin Energy
Service Experts
Stan's Heating & AC

Columbia Water & Light
Chapman Heating & Air Conditioning
Nemow Insulation Company

Consumers Energy
Bel-Aire Heating & Air Conditioning
Blanket Insulation
Dr. Energy Saver – Lansing
SIR Home Improvements
The Insulation Man Inc.

Dominion East Ohio
Boak and Sons
Farrell Insulation

Efficiency First California
Bell Brothers Heating and Air, Inc.
Clarke and Rush Mechanical
Energy Resolutions, Inc.

EmPOWER Maryland
Baltimore Gas & Electric, Delmarva Power, Potomac Edison, Potomac Electric Power Company, and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Advanced Green Home Solutions
Ecomize USA
Efficient Home, LLC
Elysian Energy, LLC
Energy Services Group

Energy Trust of Oregon
Neil Kelly Company Inc.

Entergy New Orleans
Diversified Energy
Green Medal
Louisiana Home Performance, LLC
Rebirth Energy Solutions

Eversource Energy and The United Illuminating Company
A Plus Installation
Aiello Home Services
Competitive Resources, Inc
Energy Efficiencies Solutions, LLC
Energy PRZ
Energy Resource Group Technologies, Inc. (ERGT)
Gulick Building and Development
Handyman Express Energy Solutions LLC
Home Doctor of America
Lantern Energy, LLC
Mr. Handyman of Fairfield County
New England Smart Energy Group
R Pelton Builders, Inc
Santa Energy
Uplands Construction Group, LLC
Victory Energy Solutions
Wesson Energy, Inc

Focus on Energy
Eau Claire Insulation, LLC
Insulation Technologies/Intec
On-Site Performance Testing
Rock and Tait Exteriors
Rockweiler Insulation, Inc.
S&E Insulation
Weatherization Services LLC

FSL Home Improvement
Affordable Energy Solutions of Arizona
Cozyhome, LLC
Custom Energy Design Inc.
Eco Rehab
Green ID LLC
Hobaica Services Inc.
Ideal Energy, LLC
Marshall Insulation LLC
Reeis AZ Inc.

Illinois Energy Office
DNR Construction
Green Home Weatherization
Home Comfort Insulation
Jesse Heating & Air Conditioning

Metropolitan Energy Center
Green Comprehensive Audit Technologies Services
Green Improvement Consulting
Star Energy Consultants

National Grid Rhode Island
Affordable Buildings and Weatherization, Inc.
Aten Energy
Calyx Retrofit
Cross Insulation
Energy Efficient Exteriors
Energy Geeks
Greenwich Insulation
Insulate 2 Save
New England Insulation
Rebello Weatherization Inc.
Retrofit Insulation
RI Insulation
Statewide Insulation
Thermal Energy, Inc.
Upland Construction Group

New Jersey Natural Gas
Allied Construction
Alber Service Co
Arctic Air Conditioning
BC Express Inc.
Building Sciences LLC
Ciel Power LLC
Energy Analysis Group LLC
Home Energy Matters, Inc
Hutchinson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
Laury Heating Cooling. LLC
Patel Builders Inc.
The Insulation Group

Home Comfort Heating and Cooling
Black River Plumbing, Heating & AC, Inc.
BrightHome Energy Solutions, LLC
Bruni & Campisi Energy & Conservation Services, LLC
Crossfield Home Energy Solutions
Green Audit USA, Inc.
Home Energy Performance by HALCO
Healthy Home Energy & Consulting, Inc.
Town Insulation
Isaac Home Energy Performance
New York Homeowners Construction Co. LLC
GreenSeal Weatherization
Standard Insulating Co., Inc.
Triple H Contracting, Inc.
True Energy Solutions, Inc.
Zerodraft of CNY, Inc.

PSEG Long Island
American AWS
Econo-Therm Insulation
Green Audit USA, Inc.
Home Performance Technologies, Inc.
Home Star Energy Services
Solar Energy Haus
Triple H Contracting, Inc.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Air Assurance
Airco Services, Inc.
Building Performance Group, LLC
SRI Energy

Public Service of New Hampshire
Quality Insulation
Yankee Thermal Imaging

e3 Solutions
Energy Misers
Evans Construction & Remodeling
KMT Group, Inc.
SEAL Energy Solutions

ACI is next week! We hope to see you there!

On Monday, April 4th, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) is hosting a Partner Meeting for all stakeholders interested in learning about HPwES. Ely Jacobsohn, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program Manager, will lead this day-long meeting featuring speakers sharing insights on the future of scaling and financing HPwES. The event includes a special keynote by Deana Carrillo, Executive Director of California Alternative Energy & Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.

It’s not too late to join us! The meeting is part of the ACI National conference so registration is easy. Use the ACI registration site to make or update your conference registration to include the HPwES Partner Meeting. The meeting is an additional cost of $175 but discounts are available. Inquire with HomePerformance@ee.doe.gov for more details.

Additional Department of Energy programs and initiatives will be featured throughout the conference. Come by any of the sessions below to hear the latest from the Department of Energy.

Tuesday, April 5

  • Home Upgrade Program Models for Acquiring Savings in Multiple Climate Zones
  • Residential Energy Labels, Why Should You Care & What Do You Do About It?

Wednesday, April 6

  • Showcasing Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractors
  • Transforming the Market with HPXML: Strategies and Lessons Learned
  • What Building America Learned in 4 Years About Retrofits & Staged Upgrades
  • Realizing the Market Value for High Performance Homes: Reports from the Field
  • Health & Home Performance: Unlocking New Funding, Marketing, & Project Data Value
  • The Quest for Smarter Performance Measurement
  • The Home Energy Data Huddle: Getting together to Build an Information Pipeline

Thursday, April 7

  • Home Performance Financing Update & Options to Help Close More Jobs
  • Insights from the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Evaluation
  • America’s Building Blocks to High Performance Housing

   Save the Date

    Annual Report Webinar
    Wednesday, May 18, 3-4 PM (Eastern)

Adding Low-rise Multifamily to Southwestern Electric Power Company’s Arkansas HPwES Program

In 2015, Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) expanded its Arkansas Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program to include low-rise multifamily properties. This program enhancement provided an excellent opportunity for SWEPCO to offer home improvement rebate programs to a customer segment that typically cannot make building improvements to lower their utility bills. Also, low-rise multifamily increases the all-electric household participation, which contributes high energy savings to the program goal. Last year, SWEPCO completed 811 apartment unit upgrades that contributed 3.8 GWh of energy savings, which when combined with single family projects resulted in a 238% growth in energy savings from 2014 to 2015.

Multifamily properties are now eligible for many of the same improvements offered to single family homes including duct sealing, air sealing, ceiling insulation, air conditioner and heat pump replacement, and direct install measures such as lighting and low-flow water devices. The multifamily pathway is designed so that the HPwES implementer establishes project viability prior to any work being scheduled by a contractor. Program energy advisors meet with the property owner/manager to review the program, conduct an assessment of the property to establish if it meets participation requirements, test the duct system and the building envelope, and determine the potential for other rebate opportunities through other programs.

Diagnostic testing is conducted on approximately two to six apartment units of different configurations (e.g. upper units vs. lower units, inside wall vs. outside wall units, row house vs. stacked low-rise, etc.). Selecting various unit configurations from the property based on the different building types establishes baselines and leakage reduction expectations for the contractor which aids in the QAQC inspection process. Once the program determines that a property is eligible, the energy advisor works with the HPwES contractor to produce a report for the property that outlines the improvement opportunities, including the viable measures and estimated energy savings.

As with all programs, there were lessons learned along the way. Closely managing property participation can help mitigate the overselling to properties by contractors and the initiation of projects that are not feasible for major improvements such as duct and air sealing. Another key lesson learned was the importance of creating and maintaining open lines of communication to all parties involved in the project. Property manager and tenant concerns were able to be addressed and resolved much quicker when there was consistent energy advisor involvement. Overall, expanding the HPwES program to include low-rise multifamily was the next step to a more comprehensive program design, and its success has been beneficial to not only the program but also to the SWEPCO customers.
Despite a milder winter and an evolving sponsorship roster, HPwES production during the 4th quarter of 2015 offered cause for optimism as we continue our advance towards a bright future. As has been true of every quarter since program inception, our Sponsors and participating contractors deserve immense credit their ongoing commitments to innovation in technical and business practices; our community-wide pursuit of whole-house improvements continues to yield dividends for homeowners, citizens and the environment.

Another Solid Quarter Reported by HPwES Sponsors

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Sponsors reported the completion of 23,141 projects during 2015 Q4, a decline of 17.7% against 2014 Q4. This is the first such period in the last eight which did not exhibit record-breaking growth. We fully expect a return to customary levels of expansion in coming quarters as HPwES brings on new Sponsors and partners with existing stakeholders to develop forward-looking means of delivering enhanced value to a broader population.

Already we can see the effects of these efforts, with strong regional growth…..

In the South:

  • Southwestern Electric Power Company (+97% 15Q4 vs. 14Q4)
  • Gainesville Regional Utilities (+54%)
  • Entergy Texas (+97%)
  • Entergy New Orleans (+76%)
  • Advanced Energy (+56%)

In the Mid-Atlantic:

  • District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (+279%)
  • Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (+194%)
  • Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (+162%)
  • Delmarva Power (+27%)
  • New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (+18%)
  • Baltimore Gas & Electric (+11%)
  • Potomac Electric Power Company (6%)

In the West/Midwest:

  • Efficiency First California (+60%)
  • Xcel Energy (Colorado) (+39%)
  • Public Service Company of Oklahoma (+37%)
  • Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (+36%)

And in the Northeast:

  • National Grid (Rhode Island) (+34%)
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (+7%)

Thanks again to all those who helped make this quarter possible!

Show & Tell

Who doesn’t like a good story?  Stories have the power to intrigue, inspire and make us laugh.  From challenges and aha moments to bloopers and mishaps, we all have something to share.  Send us your latest home energy stories, pictures, and videos, and we’ll showcase them on the website. 

Contractor Corner

8:30am-5:00pm on April 4, 2016 at the 2016 ACI Home Performance Conference in Austin, TX

Our six Contractor of the Year Award winners will be featured during a session at ACI called Showcasing Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Contractors. They will be describing the award-winning features of their companies and taking questions from the audience on what makes a successful HPwES participating contractor. Hope to see you there!

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Team