In this Issue:

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Celebrates a Decade of Success and Completes Over 200,000 Projects

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program (HPwES) reaches two major milestones in 2012: the national Program celebrates its 10th anniversary and generates over 200,000 completed projects since the Program's inception in 2002.

We accomplished these milestones because of the outstanding achievements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the ENERGY STAR Program, our Sponsors and participating contractors. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to the HPwES Program!

Be sure to pick up a copy of the Nov. /Dec. issue of Home Energy magazine. The issue will feature a retrospective look at 10 years of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR.

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Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Moves Forward with Program Enhancements

In March 2012, the HPwES team presented proposed changes to the HPwES Program and held a 60-day open comment period for stakeholder feedback. 50 responders, representing a wide range of stakeholders, submitted over 650 comments. In early July, the HPwES team presented a preliminary review of the comments at the U.S. DOE's conference, Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions: From Innovation to Market Transformation.

As a direct result of the comments received, the HPwES team is developing an action plan for implementing short-term enhancements to the current program (v1) and longer term strategies to address the ultimate adoption of a v2 model. Over the next several months, HPwES will continue to work with Sponsors and stakeholders to develop and launch pilot initiatives, and finalize the v2 approach.

Program participants and stakeholders can expect the announcement of interim changes to v1 this coming winter. Interim changes will include a revised and enhanced Sponsor Guide, updates to the HPwES website, improved data collection and quality assurance systems, guidance on working with low-rise multifamily buildings, and the introduction of an annual report template.

We will welcome feedback on the interim changes in an open comment period before the new Sponsor Guide is released in 2013.

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ENERGY STAR Award Applications Now Available

Each year, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. DOE honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

HPwES Sponsors are encouraged to apply for a 2013 ENERGY STAR Award. To be considered, an organization must meet the specific eligibility requirements in the award application. Deadline for submitting an application is 8 p.m. EST on November 28, 2012.

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Century Club Award Winners Receive Web Buttons

Each year, participating contractors who complete 100 or more projects are eligible to receive the Century Club Award. In addition to award plaques and recognition letters, the U.S. DOE created a web button to recognize their outstanding achievements.

Century Club Award winners have the exclusive privilege to use the newly developed web button on their websites. We hope this enhanced marketing opportunity encourages all participating contractors to strive to complete at least 100 projects per year and join the ranks of the Century Club Award winners.
Web button

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Welcome to our Newest HPwES Sponsors

  • California Center for Sustainable Energy: CCSE is a nonprofit organization responsible for implementing an HPwES program in San Diego, CA.  Because of its work with the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, CCSE is rapidly gaining experience working with HVAC contractors, military housing property managers, and effective outreach techniques such as conducting home tours of recently retrofitted homes for neighbors.
  • CenterPoint Energy: CenterPoint Energy serves the Houston metropolitan area and is the fourth utility Sponsor from Texas to join the HPwES program. The HPwES program is part of CenterPoint Energy's suite of energy efficiency programs offered during 2012.
  • District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility: The DCSEU, funded by the District Department of the Environment, launched their HPwES program in June 2012.  Administered by the Sustainable Energy Partnership, the DCSEU is offering Washington, D.C. homeowners access to qualified participating contractors and incentives for completion of home energy upgrades.
  • Entergy New Orleans: Entergy New Orleans administers the Energy Smart program, which helps its electric customers save money on energy efficiency improvements and access rebates to help pay for improvements.  The HPwES program will be able to leverage the existing Energy Smart program success as well as marketing across its programs.
  • Potomac Edison: Potomac Edison joins four Maryland utilities to offer homeowners the HPwES program and rebates for completed home performance work. Potomac Edison, an investor owned utility, provides the HPwES program as part of the EmPower Maryland Energy Efficiency Act and serves customers in Western Maryland.
  • Southwestern Electric Power Company: SWEPCO, an HPwES Sponsor based in Arkansas, serves over 114,000 customers and extends to parts of 13 counties in western Arkansas.  The HPwES program will complement their existing Residential Standard Offer Program.
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Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions Conference Materials Available Online

Almost 400 home performance industry professionals gathered in Arlington, VA, July 9-11, for Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions: From Innovation to Market Transformation. Attendees shared ideas and lessons learned implementing residential energy efficiency programs. The HPwES team shared a preliminary review of the comments received during the spring comment period.

All of the session presentations are available online. We encourage you to learn about local programs' lessons learned, marketing strategies, and innovative approaches to scaling up home performance in your local communities.

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National Home Performance Council Releases Paper on Value of Energy Efficiency Resources

Over the past few years, cost-effectiveness testing requirements have become increasingly problematic for home performance programs. The most commonly used tests need to be updated to respond to the shift to comprehensive, performance-based programs like HPwES.

The National Home Performance Council (NHPC) took a significant step forward by commissioning the newly released paper, Best Practices in Energy Efficiency Program Screening:  How to Ensure that the Value of Energy Efficiency Resources is Properly Accounted for, developed by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. An NHPC-led working group representing a broad group of industry stakeholders oversaw the development of the paper, which generated a great deal of interest from more than 70 public service commissioners and staff when it was introduced at the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) conference in July 2012.

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HPwES Tips for Contractor Success

A vibrant contractor network is essential for developing a successful home performance market. Program Sponsors should be in constant communication with their contractors to understand how their program is working on the ground. Contractors are often the best resource programs have to reach homeowners and provide Sponsors with feedback on the effectiveness of their messaging, marketing and program administration strategies.

It is most helpful to the Sponsors if the contractor network is organized and has a leadership structure because it efficiently facilitates feedback from contractors to Sponsors. One strategy to organize a contractor network is to start a local business association or peer exchange groups. Working together, these networks collaborate to represent home performance contractors in the policy arena at state and national legislative and utility commission hearings.

HPwES Sponsors and their participating contractors are encouraged to support the development of these networks in their local markets. Efficiency First, for example, is a national nonprofit trade organization that brings home performance contractors together with manufacturers, retailers, and other organizations interested in the home performance industry. Contractors can also look to their trade specific organizations, such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and Insulation Contractors Association of America, to start forming their contractor networks.

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Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Home Performance Events:

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Thank you,

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Team
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