U.S. Department of Energy Releases Request for Information on Proposed Federal National Energy Rating Program for Homes

June 28th, 2010 - Posted by RESNET under Hot Topics, Recovery Through Retrofit, RESNET News, RESNET Notes - June 2010

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a Request for Information (RFI) on its proposed new national energy rating program for homes.  Comments are due on July 10, 2010. The RFI states that it is primarily aimed at existing homes, but does not state that it will be restricted to existing homes.  It also does not mention RESNET, BPI or their market based efforts over the past decade.  Furthermore, it does not commit DOE to work with existing programs and stakeholders in the same manner as the Vice President’s Recovery through Retrofit paper did.

This is a critical issue to RESNET’s membership.  RESNET supports the goals and objectives stated in the RFI.  It is excited to work with DOE in addressing the barriers of the rating of existing homes.  We believe, however the federal government should work with existing programs such as RESNET and Building Performance Institute.  It should build on our experience and track record.  If the federal government sets up a competing rating system it could affect all of the hard work and achievements that we have been able to achieve over the past years.  It could also sow confusion in the market place.

RESNET is working with the Building Performance Institute and Efficiency First to develop joint comments to DOE.  RESNET is planning to share its comments with its network soon.  Members are encouraged to submit their own comments.

The RFI is posted at: http://www.buildings.energy.gov/home_rating_rfi.html

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    We need to have all new homes tested for Energy Efficiency and it needs to be mandatory for all states, counties and cities to have building codes to enforce energy efficient homes.

    I live in South Dakota and probably 80% of the homes here are poorly built. Our state doesn’t have building codes that are enforced. This area of the country sees temperatures of -25 with 40mph winds in winter and 90 degree days in the summer that can be very humid. Homes here are expensive to both heat and cool due to the poor building practices and HVAC systems that are not sized properly nor installed properly.

    It is imperative that new homes be built to an enforceable code and the only way that will happen is if the Federal Government mandates it.

    Existing homes also need to have a way to be updated that can be measurable. This would be a great way to liven up the economy by creating new jobs, saving our older folks money and improving the carbon footprint of these energy guzzlers.

    Creating energy efficient homes will require a measurable way of proving their legitamcy. The only way possible is using both existing cerification processes. We need RESNET Ratings performed to insure the envelope of the structure, windows, insulation and energy using appliances/lighting/HVAC systems are appropriate for the area, designed and installed properly. We need BPI services to certify the systems are working proprely and will provide the occupant comfort and safety level they claim to.

    It is time to stop all the talk about saving energy, reducing our carbon footprint and creating jobs. It is time for the leaders of this country to make it possible and get off their posteriors.

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