EERE Success Story—Vermont is Helping its Homeowners Reduce Energy Waste and Save on Energy Bills

November 19, 2018

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With financial support from a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) State Energy Program Competitive Award, the State of Vermont convened a diverse working group to create a pilot project in Vermont and New Hampshire, known as Recognizing Efficiency Value through Energy Asset Labeling (REVEAL). REVEAL engages with the real estate sector to educate and inform real estate agents, homeowners, and home buyers on the importance of energy efficiency in homes.

Maintaining a comfortable home can be expensive. Anywhere from 10-20% of the roughly $2,000 the average American spends on energy every year is wasted through drafts, air leaks, and outdated heating and cooling systems. Energy efficiency upgrades can help reduce energy waste and create a more comfortable living space while saving money – benefits that are often overlooked when buying or selling a home. Vermont's REVEAL will create visibility for energy efficiency in the state’s real estate market through home energy labeling, and educate homebuyers on the value of energy efficiency.

 
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Photo by groSolar©

Through REVEAL, a Vermont Home Energy Profile was created. This profile is an assessment tool that evaluates estimated annual energy use, estimated annual energy cost, and the DOE Home Energy Score (HEScore). To date, 24 HEScore Assessors have been trained to provide home assessments to homeowners and more than 280 Vermont Home Energy Profiles have been completed.

The state also created the Vermont Home Energy Information pamphlet to provide homebuyers information on energy efficiency upgrades, including resources for next steps on implementing upgrades to expand energy efficiency across Vermont. The pamphlet is distributed during the purchase and sales agreement process, ensuring that all new homeowners receive information about the Home Energy Profile. 

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Using best practices from the REVEAL pilot project, Vermont is developing a new labeling framework and creating a "Certificate of Improvement" for customers who have made energy efficiency upgrades to better represent energy efficiency in the real estate market. The certificate details specific energy upgrades for use in marketing a home’s energy features.  These projects will continue to push Vermont’s efforts to help homebuyers become more informed on energy efficiency and how to save money on their utility bills.

The State Energy Program provides funding and technical assistance to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste. The State Energy Program emphasizes the state’s role as the decision maker and administrator for program activities within the state that are tailored to their unique resources, delivery capacity, and energy goals.