Residential Energy Efficiency
With a population of just over 8 million people, Virginia’s energy consumption will continue to rise. According to the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan, residential energy consumption makes up almost 25% of the total energy used. Within that amount, electricity comprises about 58% of consumption, just over 28% is natural gas consumption, about 9% is petroleum usage and 5.2% is biomass consumption. 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 recently completed Multi-State Model for Catalyzing the National Home Energy Retrofit Market Project represents a collaborative effort between the Commonwealth of Virginia, Alabama, Massachusetts and Washington. This three-year project helped provide the framework for enabling 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 aimed to establish a residential retrofit market that would be self-sustaining long after completion of this US Department of Energy-funded project.
The Commonwealth of Virginia sought 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 was undertaken by three Regional Energy Alliances (REAs) that are non-profit organizations based in Richmond, Charlottesville and southwest Virginia. The Richmond Regional Energy Alliance (RREA) undertook residential retrofit projects in the Richmond and surrounding localities. The Local Energy Alliance Program based in Charlottesville (LEAP) had projects based in Charlottesville and Northern Virginia. The Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency, managed be Community Housing Partners in Christiansburg, Virginia (cafe2) had projects in Roanoke and Blacksburg.
A total of 1,259 energy audits were performed, and 356 home retrofits were completed in these areas of the Commonwealth. All three REAs continue to support limited residential energy efficiency retrofit projects with assistance from other funding sources since the grant project was completed in Spring 2014.
For project specific information, click on the logos below to visit the Project Implementers’ websites:
Click here to view the technical report and results of Virginia’s Residential Retrofit Project.
View the overall results and evaluation of the combined four-state residential retrofit project here.
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: