Residential Energy Efficiency
With a population of just over 8 million people, Virginia’s energy consumption will continue to rise. According to the 2010 Virginia Energy Plan (VEP), residential energy consumption makes up about 24% of the total energy used. Within that amount, electricity comprises 53% of consumption, 29% is natural gas consumption, and 14% is petroleum usage. There are many opportunities for residential customers to reduce their energy consumption, ranging from home improvement; replacement of old inefficient appliances to newer, more energy efficient models; changing to more energy efficient light bulbs; and more. The typical household spends more than $1,900 a year on energy bills. With the increase in energy prices, costs are expected to increase even more, further constraining household budgets.
A Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofit Project Right Here in Virginia
The Multi-State Model for Catalyzing the National Home Energy Retrofit Market Project represents a collaboration effort of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as Alabama, Massachusetts and Washington. This project will enable Virginia to transform the residential retrofit market in key communities, while developing a model that can be adopted by others throughout the Commonwealth. By engaging consumers through online tools and energy labeling, as well as reaching out to energy auditors and contractors through training and workforce development, Virginia aims to establish a residential retrofit market that will sustain itself long after this US Department of Energy funded project is completed.
The Commonwealth of Virginia seeks to accomplish the following objectives:
- Establish and/or expand residential retrofit programs in target communities in order to create a sustainable market transformation for energy efficiency.
- Retrofit two percent of the homes in the targeted markets by 2013.
- Establish a model to increase retrofits, create jobs, save energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that can be replicated by other communities.
- Establish a statewide financing program to fund residential retrofits.
- Create a knowledgeable and skilled residential retrofit workforce.
- Ensure a better engaged regulatory environment for adopting energy efficiency retrofit measures.
This Project, funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant through DMME, is being undertaken by 3 Regional Energy Alliances (REAs) that are non-profit organizations based in Richmond, Charlottesville and southwest Virginia. The REA based in Richmond (RREA) is undertaking residential retrofit projects in the Richmond and surrounding localities. The REA based in Charlottesville (LEAP) has a project based in Charlottesville as well as one in Northern Virginia. The REA based in Southwest Virginia (cafe2) has projects in both Roanoke and Blacksburg.
For project specific information, click on the logos below to visit the Project Implementers’ websites:
The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance has released their quarterly Snapshot Reports, which highlight the successes of their network of energy efficiency programs in Virginia.
These reports provide a summary of program-level and aggregate audit and retrofit completion numbers, target goals, and average energy and cost savings. In addition, they outline the types and percent breakdown of installed measures – from insulation and air sealing to appliance replacement and equipment tune-ups.
Saving energy creates value for Virginia and the southeast region, and these reports show it! Read on to see how these programs are reducing utility bills, improving the health and productivity of residents, providing jobs for qualified contractors and ultimately helping to protect our natural environment.
A case study for the Residential Retrofit Project discussed above has now been written. Click here to read about the approach Virginia’s Regional Energy Alliances took with this energy efficiency project.
Implementing Energy Efficiency in Your Home – Take the necessary steps to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills. Learn more about tips on how to be more energy efficient: